Customized Precision Cutting: Architectural & Industrial Metal Finishing and Laser Technology

The realm of precision metal cutting finds its champion in laser cutting. As discussed in the article ‘Laser Cutting‘ on ScienceDirect, it harnesses the potential of laser cutting for unmatched precision and quality.

The intricacies of cut-edge conditions are explored, emphasizing the delicate balance between metal thickness and the quest for square side cuts. In thin metals, optimal cut parameters can achieve square side cuts, while thicker metals tend to experience some degradation in squareness. A taper rule of 1/1000 of the sheet thickness up to 6 mm thickness serves as a guideline.

Laser-induced striations often accompany the cutting process, with the coarseness of these markings increasing as metal thickness rises. Surface roughness values vary, with continuous wave (CW) CO2 lasers producing roughness between 8–15 µm in 1.6 mm thick cold-rolled steel and 30–35 µm in mild steel. Stainless steels yield routine roughness of 30–50 µm in thin-gauge sheets when utilizing oxygen-assist, while nitrogen gas can reduce this to 10 µm in 2 mm thick applications.

Precision is paramount, with control over beam, gas, and process rate parameters impacting the heat-affected zone (HAZ). Typical HAZ measurements range from 0.5 mm (continuous wave CO2 lasers) to 0.15 mm (pulsed CO2 lasers) in 3 mm thick mild steel. Fiber laser cutting offers the promise of striation-free cutting for thin metal sheets.

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