Laser Cutting Advantages and Disadvantages You Should Know

What is laser cutting?

Laser cutting is to irradiate the workpiece with a focused laser beam to rapidly melt, vaporize or reach the ignition point of the irradiated material, and at the same time, blow off the melted or vaporized material with the aid of an auxiliary air flow, thereby completing the cutting.

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Because the laser beam can be focused to very small spots, the heat source is concentrated and the radiation illuminance is high.

Compared with the traditional oxyacetylene flame cutting and plasma cutting, laser cutting has the advantages of good cutting quality, fast cutting speed, large processing flexibility and wide material adaptability, which conforms to the development direction of the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry.

Laser cutting principle

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Advantages of laser cutting

Good incision quality

Narrow incision, good parallelism and perpendicularity, smooth cutting surface and narrow heat affected zone

Fast cutting speed and high efficiency

The cutting speed is much higher than the traditional cutting method.

For example, the 1200W CO2 laser is used to Cut 2mm thick low-carbon steel plate, and the cutting speed can reach 6 / min.

Large processing flexibility

Through programming, it can cut plate parts of any shape and size;

It can be programmed automatically to optimize the arrangement of cutting parts and the cutting path, so as to reduce material loss and empty path.

Wide adaptability of materials

It can cut almost any metal and non-metal materials, including high hardness, high melting point, brittle and viscous materials.

Comparison between laser cutting and traditional cutting

Cutting method:Brief introductionComparison with laser cutting
Thermal cuttingSuch as oxygen- combustible gas (such as acetylene) cutting and plasma cuttingWide cut, large heat affected area, obvious workpiece thermal deformation, non-metallic cutting is not allowed.
MachiningMechanical stamping, shearing, sawing and other processing methodsIt will cause blade deformation, burr and wear, wide incision, low material utilization rate, great threat to operator safety, and serious noise and dust pollution.
Electric machiningGenerally, there are two methods, EDM and electrochemical machining, which use electric corrosion and dissolution effect.
They are mostly used for fine machining of hard materials with good notch roughness.
The cutting speed is several orders of magnitude slower than laser cutting.
Water cuttingWhen water is pressurized to 2700 ~ 5500kg / cm2, many materials can be cut through the high-pressure water flow formed by the small-diameter sapphire nozzle.Many consumables, high operating costs, complex processes and low accuracy.

Disadvantages of laser cutting

1. Limited by the output power, the cutting speed is slower than that of plasma arc cutting, and the thickness of the cutting plate cannot be too thick.

2. Due to the limitation of laser power and equipment volume, laser cutting can only cut medium and small thickness plates and pipes, and with the increase of workpiece thickness, the cutting speed decreases significantly.

3. The air consumption during cutting is very large.

4. The cost of laser cutting equipment is high and the one-time investment is large.

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