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Laser Cutting Rusty Iron Plates: Tips and Techniques

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We all know that laser cutting machines are excellent tools for sheet metal processing, cutting through iron as if it were mud. In the actual production process, we often find that processing materials may be rusty, especially in the south where it’s humid, and materials like carbon steel and iron plates are prone to rust.

Can a laser cutting machine cut rusted iron plates? What should we pay attention to when cutting rusted materials with a laser cutting machine?

What should we pay attention to when cutting rusted materials with a laser cutting machine?

First, we need to analyze the cutting principle of the laser cutting machine. The laser itself cannot be a light source; it generates heat only after being absorbed by the sheet metal surface. The laser absorption is different on surfaces with rust or without rust, and the heat generation will be greatly affected.

Generally, cutting rusted plates will have the following impacts:

  • The cutting efficiency of rusted plates will be reduced, the results will be worse, and the scrap rate will be higher. If possible, it’s better to use fewer rusted plates or treat rusted plates before use.
  • The biggest damage actually occurs when holes are punched and cut, causing the lens to be contaminated. You can use a grinder for rust removal before cutting. If the plate is not thick, the impact on plates under 5mm is not significant, but the quality of the cut product will be affected, resulting in a higher rejection rate.
  • Cutting plates with uniform rust will produce better results than cutting plates with uneven rust. This is because plates with uniform rust absorb the laser evenly, allowing for better cutting. For processing materials with uneven rust on the surface, the material surface condition should be evened out before cutting.

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