In the intricate world of laser cutting, achieving precision and maintaining material integrity are paramount, especially when dealing with patterned metal plates. These plates, commonly crafted from carbon steel, stainless steel, or aluminum alloy, present unique challenges during the cutting process. This guide explores the phenomena, reasons behind challenges, and effective solutions for ensuring optimal results when cutting patterned metal plates.
The material composition of patterned metal plates typically includes carbon steel, stainless steel, or aluminum alloy. An interesting phenomenon surfaces when the raised portions of patterned metal plates are oriented upward during cutting, leading to an increased susceptibility to melting, particularly in carbon steel.
The root cause of this issue lies in the interplay between heat conduction speed and cutting speed. When heat conduction outpaces the cutting speed, heat tends to concentrate at the corners of the raised portions. Additionally, the relationship between the material surface and the nozzle or processing lens undergoes variations in the raised sections, causing deviations in auxiliary gas pressure or focal point positioning from their normal values.
Achieving high-quality laser cutting of patterned steel plates involves addressing two key aspects: minimizing irregularities in the raised sections and preventing the concentration of heat in these areas.
A.Minimizing Irregularities in Raised Sections
When positioning the plate, designate the raised side as the processing backside (bottom) and the smooth side as the laser-illuminated surface. This minimizes variations in auxiliary gas pressure or focal point positioning on the processing surface. When setting processing conditions, consider the height of the raised portions and establish cutting conditions for the maximum plate thickness, denoted as T. While flipping larger sheets upside down might pose a heavier workload, it proves effective in mitigating melting issues.
B.Preventing Heat Concentration in Raised Sections
1.Adjusting Laser Cutting Speed
When it’s unavoidable to cut with the raised irregularities facing upward, set cutting speed conditions greater than the heat conduction speed (F=2m/min). This helps prevent the concentration of heat in the raised portions.
2.Optimizing Focus Position
Set the focus position at the apex of the raised portions to ensure optimal cutting quality. Keep the surface width of the cut seam in the raised portions as narrow as possible. These parameters are crucial for achieving high-quality cuts.
3.Controlled Gas Jet
The quantity of auxiliary gas ejected also influences the amount of melting. Opt for smaller-diameter nozzles to minimize the consumption of auxiliary gas.
In this cutting process, employing a non-contact capacitive sensor at the laser cutting machine nozzle’s front end to maintain a specific distance from the workpiece surface can be challenging. In such cases, a contact-type sensor becomes necessary, with limitations on its application confined to above the raised portions.
By implementing these solutions, manufacturers can navigate the complexities of cutting patterned metal plates, ensuring optimal results and preserving the structural integrity of the material. As laser cutting continues to be a cornerstone of precision manufacturing, mastering the intricacies of different materials and patterns becomes imperative for achieving excellence in the industry.