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Metal laser cutting technology
Metal laser cutting technology
Thanks to laser cutting of metal, work in production has been significantly modernized today. Laser cutting of metal is the most modern technology that is used both in mass production and in private workshops.
Laser cutting of metal can be shaped, artistic, and not just ordinary, which allows you to create parts of an interesting shape.
This processing method is suitable for almost all types of metal, however, it has its own nuances depending on the material that is being processed.
Metal laser cutting technology
When working, this must be taken into account in order to get the parts of the correct shape and exclude defects.
You also need to understand the features of laser cutting technology and imagine how the equipment works in order to achieve an effective result and get quality parts.
From the article you will learn how different types of metal are processed with a laser, what tools are needed for this, and how to do it yourself, and also why laser cutting and engraving is so popular today.
The video will help you in your work and make the whole process easier and clearer.
How is the procedure for cutting aluminum
This method of cutting is considered the most effective and modern method for processing metal objects - with its help you can create parts of the shapes and sizes you need.
The system works according to the drawings using the program, that is, it minimizes the need to involve specialists, and makes it the most economical and efficient way of cutting.
The separation of objects occurs due to the action of a high-power laser beam on the metal.
Due to the large amount of energy, the laser makes it possible to create parts from any material, but is most often used for working with wood or metal.
Shaping metal with a CNC laser causes oxidation of the metal surface by increasing the absorption of energy and bringing the temperature to a level where the material can melt.
The highest temperature is created in the area where the greatest accumulation of rays is directed, due to this, an even separation of parts occurs, the surface where the ray does not fall does not melt or deform, but simply heats up.
Laser cutting of sheet metal occurs not only due to the action of a laser on the material, but also with the help of an active gas that enters the surface at the same time as the laser beam.
Thanks to this, the speed of work increases, and combustion products are immediately removed from the working area.
Aluminum has special properties, for example, it has high thermal conductivity and absorbs the laser beam well.
All this makes the procedure for cutting aluminum sheets possible only with the use of high-power laser radiation.
Laser cutting of aluminum, as well as other options for this type of metal processing, takes place using a program that sets the parameters for cutting parts, and the production itself requires special equipment, which can be worked with both in production and with your own hands.
The power of an aluminum cutting machine depends on the size and composition of the parts.
It is best to cut metal at low speeds because this prevents the formation of deformation on the coating and allows you to create a completely flat surface.
Laser cutting of aluminum is of high quality due to the fact that the laser cutting technology does not allow the cutting head of the tool to come into contact with the surface: the beam acts from above and simply burns through the metal surface.
Due to the fact that the device is equipped with a purge zone, the cut is obtained with an absolutely flat contour, which is very important for the subsequent welding of parts.
The production of aluminum parts by laser cutting with CNC has ample opportunities: thanks to the focused effect of the beam, even very complex structures can be cut, the main thing is to correctly set the values ??according to the drawings.
When laser cutting according to CNC drawings, the need for do-it-yourself work is minimized, since all values ??are set in the program according to the drawings and are then performed by the device automatically.
With this method of cutting metal, the error in work is minimal due to the fact that the human factor in the work is excluded, because everything is done by the CNC according to predetermined drawings.
The only possibility of error is if you make the wrong measurements with your own hands, then all the instructions for the drawings will be incorrect. In the very operation of the device, the possibility of error is practically absent.
After cutting the material, the cut is rough to the touch. You can see all processes of aluminum processing using laser cutting in the video.
Since no special shapes are required for CNC laser cutting, the cost of its implementation is significantly lower compared to other types of parts processing.
The method of laser cutting is perfect for processing metal with your own hands, and not in large-scale production, since it is designed, first of all, for processing small batches of material.
Another plus, what is good about laser cutting aluminum is convenience. Manufacturing a part from an aluminum billet does not require its attachment to the equipment.
Due to this, the accuracy of work increases, since there is no possibility of a static effect on the material from the equipment.
Processing (cutting) of sheets also occurs automatically - manual labor in this cutting is practically absent, therefore, even if you order aluminum cutting, and do not do it yourself, the price for this service will be quite affordable.
Cutting other metals
Complex shaped artistic cutting, as well as simple cutting of metal parts using laser cutting with CNC, is available not only for aluminum blanks.
Laser cutting of stainless steel, laser cutting of brass, laser cutting of steel and other metals are also widely used.
All these procedures, although similar to each other, have a number of features depending on the type of material.
Cutting stainless steel
Laser cutting of stainless steel is one of the most difficult, as this material is very resistant to external influences and destruction, unlike any other metal.
Because of these features, the manufacture of parts and cutting of this metal by other methods is ineffective, and most often it is the laser method that is used for cutting stainless steel, since laser cutting of stainless steel has the highest power.
This manufacturing has several advantages.
Firstly, laser processing of stainless steel is carried out in a non-contact way, which protects the surface from deformation, excluding the place that is directly cut.
Since special computer equipment is used for all the work, it is possible to manufacture even complex figured parts.
When the system is operating, there is practically no error - its maximum possible indicator is no more than 0.08 mm.
Processing stainless steel using laser cutting minimizes the possibility of flaking and burrs on the metal surface, as well as creating a deformed edge.
Since the processing time of CNC laser cutting is significantly lower than other processing methods, the price is also lower.
At the same time, you can cut a sheet of stainless steel of any thickness with your own hands or in production - the power of the beam is very high and can cope with even the thickest part.
Metal laser cutting technology
One of the biggest advantages of laser cutting of stainless steel is that such processing does not in any way affect the physical properties of the metal and does not reduce its further operation.
The most important thing when working with stainless steel is to protect the metal surface from oxidative processes to which it is exposed during operation.
This can be done with nitric acid, which protects the metal from fire.
During operation, gas must be supplied to the working area under a certain pressure - up to 20 atmospheres.
If the work takes place with large sheets of stainless steel, then the laser works with a deepening into the surface, due to which the cross-section of the inlet becomes larger.
Therefore, the nitrogen supply to the working area must also be increased.
You can follow the entire process of exposure of a laser beam to a stainless steel using the video presented.
Laser cutting of copper, like stainless steel, has its own characteristics.
The most important difference is that copper has a high thermal conductivity, so the cutting of products can only take place at a low speed, while the beam power should be maximum.
It is very important to set these values ??correctly in order to process the copper sheet efficiently.
If this rule is neglected, then it will not be possible to cut the product exactly, plus you can deform the edge and the nearby metal surface.
This method of processing for thick copper is ineffective, since the power of the equipment must be very large, therefore, the price for the work will be rather big.
At the same time, figured and artistic cutting will be impossible, in the case of processing material with a large thickness, only the simplest cutting is available.
When cutting copper, it is best to use solid-state lasers, since conventional equipment when working with thick material may not cope and will lead to deformation of future parts.
When working with thick sheets, a plasma must be created at the cut point, heating and then melting the material when it reaches the required temperature.
Laser cutting brass
Laser cutting of brass is also popular and frequently used.
This cutting method can be used both for large batches of products, when it comes to processing similar products, and for small private production, where most of the work is done by hand.
Manufacturing parts from steel and brass using laser cutting does not require complex equipment settings: the values ??are easy to set with your own hands so that the cutting corresponds to the desired shape of the parts.
Modern CNC laser machines are capable of efficiently cutting almost any metal product, while it is easy to work with the machine with your own hands, and the price of the service for cutting small batches is quite inexpensive, so it is often more efficient to order cutting than to do it yourself.
At the moment, laser cutting and engraving is the most effective way to work with metal blanks, it effectively copes with its task, while metal consumption and operating time are minimal.