< img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1029820091747592&ev=PageView&noscript=1" /> Sheet Metal Laser Cutting: What do you need to know? - Laserscheme


Sheet Metal Laser Cutting: What do you need to know?

Laser cutting is a technology that replaces standard mechanical blades with an invisible beam of light. This technology has the characteristics of high precision, fast, unlimited cutting patterns, automatic layout to save material, smooth cutting edge and low processing cost, etc., and it is gradually replacing traditional metal cutting machinery. Laser cutting does not come into contact with the workpiece surface, thus avoiding surface scratches. In addition, the laser cutting speed is fast, the cutting edge is smooth and uniform, and almost no additional processing is required. It has a small heat-affected zone, limited sheet metal deformation, thin cuts, and cut edges free of mechanical stress and burrs. Laser cutting can achieve high precision and repeatability processing without damaging the surface of the material. Thanks to CNC programming, laser cutting can process any flat shape and large sheets and is a cost-effective and time-saving solution.

Traditional processing methods are not effective under some curvature requirements, and the consumption of consumables such as cutting tools and molds is large, and it is difficult to process slightly thicker metal plates. With the continuous development of sheet metal processing technology, traditional sheet metal cutting equipment can no longer meet the needs of modern processing and cutting. Therefore, laser cutting machines have gradually replaced traditional equipment, and are favored for their advantages of high flexibility, fast cutting and high efficiency. For plates below 40mm, it is recommended to use a laser cutting machine for processing, which has high cutting efficiency, excellent precision, and no cutting stress. It will not be deformed during processing, and there will be no tool wear, and the material adaptability is good. The laser cutting machine also has the characteristics of small kerf, good cutting quality, high degree of automation, simple use, low labor intensity, and no emission. It can perform automatic typesetting, nesting and material use, thereby minimizing production costs and positive economic benefits. Many manufacturing companies have recognized these benefits. Laser cutting machines have a large customer base because of their high flexibility, fast cutting speed, high production efficiency, and short production cycle. , Its excellent efficiency and precision have also won wide acclaim.

How does a laser cutting machine work?

The technique of cutting with a high-powered, highly focused laser beam is called laser cutting. This technique works by directing a laser beam through the material, creating a hole, and continuing to cut, leaving clean, smooth edges. Laser cutters typically use either a pulsed laser beam or a continuous wave. In CW mode, the beam remains focused on the material until the cut is complete. In contrast, pulsed lasers are suitable for metallic materials, while continuous lasers are suitable for non-metallic materials.

What are the types of lasers for sheet metal cutting?

  • CO2 lasers: CO2 laser is a kind of gas laser, it has higher power and higher energy conversion efficiency. Generally, closed-tube CO2 lasers can have tens of watts of continuous output power, far exceeding other gas lasers, while cross-flow electrically excited CO2 lasers can have hundreds of thousands of watts of pulse power. It has a wavelength of 10.6 microns and is suitable for cutting most non-metallic and metallic materials. Suitable for sheet metal cutting, wood cutting, paper cutting, leather cutting, fabric cutting and other industries, CO2 laser has the characteristics of high efficiency, stability and reliability, long service life and simple maintenance
  • Nd:YAG lasers: The advantages of YAG laser are fast processing speed, high efficiency, good economic benefits, small straight-edge slit, smooth cutting surface, large depth-to-diameter ratio, minimum thermal deformation of depth-to-width ratio, and can process hard, brittle, soft and other materials. They are known for delivering high power and the ability to cut thick sheet metal. YAG lasers are commonly used to cut materials such as steel, stainless steel and aluminum.
  • fiber lasers: Fiber lasers are especially effective for cutting thin metal sheets, with fast cutting speeds and high precision. They are commonly used to cut stainless steel, aluminum, brass and copper. Suitable for small batch processing and laser processing. Laser cut slits are generally 0.1-0.2 mm.
  • Solid-state lasers: Solid-state lasers have the advantages of small size, light weight, high efficiency, stable performance, good reliability, long life, and high beam quality. Solid-state lasers can achieve high-energy laser output, while other types of lasers cannot withstand particularly high peak power. It provides high power and beam quality, making it suitable for cutting thick metal plates. They are commonly used to cut stainless steel, mild steel and non-ferrous metals.
Laser cutting metal industry concept: macro view of industrial digital CNC – computer numerical control CO2 invisible laser beam cutter machine cutting stainless steel sheet with lot of bright shiny sparkles. See also:

Laser cutting machines are widely recognized by customers in the sheet metal processing industry. What are the practical application advantages of laser cutting machine?

  • Combining sheet metal forming and welding in one operation optimizes the process, reduces processing steps, and lowers production costs. This is because rapid mass production reduces production time.
  • Designing a more reasonable cutting scheme through programming can reduce material waste and improve cutting efficiency.
  • Contribute to product development. It can shorten the product production cycle, accelerate the research and development process of new products, and meet the ever-changing market demand.

Which industries can it be applied to?

  1. Sheet Metal Manufacturing Industry: With the booming development of sheet metal processing, traditional sheet metal cutting machines are no longer able to meet the requirements of current production processes and cutting patterns. Metal laser cutting, with its advantages of high flexibility and fast cutting speed, is gradually replacing old machines. The widespread use of metal fiber laser cutting machines in sheet metal processing is an inevitable trend for future development.
  2. Sports and Fitness Equipment Manufacturing Industry: The diversity of fitness equipment requires high production conditions. The various specifications and shapes make traditional processing procedures cumbersome and inefficient. Laser cutting equipment offers high flexibility, allowing for customized cutting of different pipes and sheets. The finished products have smooth and burr-free edges, eliminating the need for further processing and significantly improving product quality and productivity.
  3. Chassis Sheet Metal Manufacturing Industry: Visible electrical cabinets and metal file cabinets are mostly produced through standardized production of thin plates, and the demand for productivity is increasing. Fiber laser cutting machines are suitable for such applications and can enhance productivity.
  4. Automotive Manufacturing Industry: There are many precision parts in automobiles, such as brake pads. To improve car safety, cutting precision must be ensured. Traditional manual methods are difficult to achieve the required accuracy and are inefficient. Metal laser cutting offers advantages such as high accuracy, high efficiency, no burrs, and seamless integration, making fiber laser cutting machines widely used in the automotive manufacturing industry.
  5. Shipbuilding Industry: In ship production and manufacturing, metal laser cutting of shipbuilding steel plates offers excellent cutting quality, perpendicularity of the cut surface, no slag, thin oxide layer, smooth surface, no further processing required, direct laser welding capability, low thermal stress, and high accuracy in curved cutting. It reduces assistance time and meets the efficient cutting requirements of high-strength shipbuilding plates.
  6. Agricultural Equipment Manufacturing Industry: With the steady development of agricultural technology, the finished products of agricultural equipment are becoming more flexible, diverse, and precise, imposing new requirements on their production and processing. Fiber laser cutting machines, with advanced laser cutting skills, intelligent devices, and mechanical automation, not only reduce the manufacturing cost of agricultural equipment but also improve efficiency.
  7. Kitchen Equipment Manufacturing Industry: Traditional methods of producing kitchen equipment face challenges such as low efficiency, high mold consumption, and significant operating costs. Fiber laser cutting machines offer fast cutting speed, high accuracy, and increased production productivity. They can meet the demands of personalized customization, differentiate new product development, and address various issues faced by kitchen equipment manufacturers, gaining their favor.

What problems may be encountered in the laser cutting process?

  1. The machine fails to start or trips after starting:”Check whether the emergency stop pops up, whether the external circuit is connected, and whether the internal circuit breaker is closed. Do you hear a crackling sound when you turn on the machine?
    If so, please check the main contactor and control transformer.Whether it is a water protection leak that causes the laser power supply to short circuit (such as the water protection position is installed on the side, which is just above the laser power supply), whether 107 water pump is short, and the indoor open circuit is too small.”
  2. After running for a period of time, the laser output becomes weak: first check whether the focal length has changed. If there is no change, check the focusing mirror for contamination and make sure the optics are not accidentally misaligned. Most importantly, check that the water circulation is working properly.
  3. Abnormal sparks appear when cutting carbon steel sheets; if other parameters are normal, consider the wear of the laser nozzle. If there is any problem, replace the nozzle in time. If you do not have a new nozzle, increase the cutting gas pressure. If the thread connection between the nozzle and the laser cutting head is loose, the laser cutting should be suspended immediately, the connection status should be checked, and the thread should be properly tightened.
  4. Incomplete laser cutting: Check whether the choice of laser nozzle matches the thickness of the sheet being processed. Replace nozzles or adjust plate thickness accordingly. Check whether the cutting speed is too fast, and adjust it according to the actual plate condition.
  5. There are burrs on the workpiece: consider the cutting speed and increase the cutting speed. In the actual cutting process, it is common that the sheet cannot penetrate, especially when processing aluminum and zinc sheets. In this case, other factors of the machine should be considered, such as whether the nozzle needs to be replaced or whether the guide rail movement is unstable.
  6. The laser cutting effect is poor or cannot cut through:It may be because of the small power setting, the turned-down potentiometer, the biased light, the dirt lens, the reverse installed focusing lens, the focal length, the laser power, the attenuated laser tube power, the high water temperature, and the unstable voltage.They are all determined according to the actual situation, from simple to deep.
  7. Re-calibration when changing different cutting materials and different types of nozzles, automatic calibration is not successful: Since the height varies with the use of capacitive sensors, it is related to the material, contact area and contact distance.Nozzles have different contact areas, so switching to a different type of nozzle requires recalibration.If automatic calibration fails, execute M70 in MDI (manual) mode, then recalibrate or switch to manual calibration.

When purchasing a laser cutting machine, there are many factors to consider. In addition to the maximum size of the current workpiece, material type, maximum cutting thickness, and the size of the raw material format, it is also important to consider future development directions. For example, the maximum size of the workpiece to be processed after technological upgrades, the most material-efficient option provided by the steel market for your products, loading and unloading time, and more.

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