The styles in the furniture market are constantly changing. Traditional materials include wood, stone, sponge, cloth, and leather.
In recent years, the market share of metal furniture has been increasing, with stainless steel being the main material, followed by iron, aluminum alloy, and cast aluminum.
They are widely popular in public places such as homes, hotels, stations, airports, canteens, and restaurants.
Stainless steel’s shiny metallic texture, durability, rust resistance, and easy-to-clean properties have been highly valued in the furniture industry in recent years.
It is used as the load-bearing main structure for tables, chairs, and sofas, including components such as iron bars, angle irons, and round tubes, which have a high demand for cutting, bending, and welding.
Metal furniture mainly includes household furniture, office furniture, and some furniture in public places.
Some products are made entirely of metal, while others are made in sets combining glass, stone, and wood boards.
According to statistics, metal furniture currently accounts for over 40% of the overall furniture market in China and is widely popular among people.
Laser cutting improves the manufacturing level of metal furniture
Metal furniture includes accessories such as pipes, plates, and rods. In traditional processing, metalworking is difficult, with complex and time-consuming procedures and high labor costs, which hinders the industry’s development.
With the development of laser technology, the practicality of laser cutting machines has also accelerated. Laser cutting technology has pressed the accelerator for the metal furniture industry to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
Metal cutting is involved in the production process of metal furniture, including cutting of metal surfaces and plates. In the modern furniture industry, many metal products are processed using laser cutting machines.
Laser cutting machines have the advantages of arbitrary shape, arbitrary adjustment of size and depth, high precision, high speed, and no burrs.
They greatly improve production efficiency and meet the diverse and customized needs of consumers for furniture. This has led the metal furniture manufacturing to a new chapter.
Cutting and welding of stainless steel furniture
In metal furniture, it is important to mention stainless steel furniture, which is currently a popular type of product.
Stainless steel furniture is commonly made using food-grade 304 stainless steel, which has strong corrosion resistance and a high degree of surface smoothness.
Stainless steel has a long service life, does not use paint or glue, and does not emit formaldehyde, making it an environmentally friendly furniture material.
The thickness of the sheets used in stainless steel furniture is generally less than 3mm, and the thickness of the pipes is less than 1.5mm.
This can be easily achieved using the currently mature 2KW fiber laser cutting technology, which has a processing efficiency of more than five times that of traditional mechanical cutting.
The cut edges are smooth and do not have many burrs, eliminating the need for secondary polishing and greatly saving labor and costs for furniture manufacturers.
Stainless steel furniture involves some curved and bent components, which require the use of molds for stamping or bending. This type of material manufacturing does not involve laser processing.
For the assembly and joining of complete sets of furniture, in addition to screws and fasteners, the most commonly used method for connecting stainless steel components is welding technology.
Previously, argon arc welding and resistance welding were commonly used, which had low welding efficiency and uneven welds with blocky protrusions at the connection points.
The nearby stainless steel materials often turned black and required manual polishing to smooth them before being sprayed with silver paint to cover them, resulting in multiple processes.
In recent years, the handheld laser welding equipment has become popular due to its lightweight, flexibility, adaptability, high efficiency, and stability in welding.
It has been widely used and has replaced many applications that previously used argon arc welding.
The estimated annual usage of handheld laser welding equipment is nearly 100,000 units, with the main required power ranging from 500 watts to 2000 watts.
It has good welding stability, and does not require filler or specific gases, while increasing efficiency and reducing labor costs. It is the preferred process for welding thin stainless steel materials.
Development trend of laser technology in metal furniture
In recent years, laser equipment has rapidly penetrated into the furniture manufacturing industry. Laser cutting is highly automated and has a very fast cutting speed.
A typical furniture factory has several laser cutting machines that can meet the production capacity.
However, welding processing requirements are often more complex and involve larger volumes than cutting.
Due to the custom design of various styles and shapes of metal furniture, the welding of components is mostly dependent on manual labor.
The use of handheld laser welding requires one welding machine for each welder, so the demand for laser welding equipment tends to be higher.
As consumers demand higher quality metal furniture, the advantages of laser processing technology in design and aesthetic craftsmanship are becoming more prominent.
In the future, the application of laser equipment in the field of metal furniture will continue to increase and become a common industry practice.
This will also continue to bring incremental demand for laser equipment.