Laser cutting is a technique that relies on a powerful laser beam for cutting. This laser beam is emitted by a laser and focused through an optical system. This high-power-density laser beam requires compressed air as an energy source, typically at a pressure of 10 to 16 bar, necessitating a dedicated air compressor. When the laser beam strikes the surface of the workpiece, it melts or vaporizes the material, and simultaneously, high-pressure gas coaxial with the laser beam blows away the melted or vaporized metal.
Advantages of Laser Cutting Machine
1. High-speed cutting with clean and burr-free edges.
2. Narrow kerf and minimal deformation of materials after cutting, as they do not harden.
3. High processing accuracy and excellent repeatability.
4. Simple digital programming, wide application range, cost-saving on molds, and an economically efficient method of cutting.
Types of Auxiliary Gases
1. Nitrogen: Typically used for processing precious metals or in situations with extremely high processing requirements.
2. Oxygen: Due to its strong oxidizing nature, the cut surface may darken and harden, a phenomenon known as ‘burning’.
3. Compressed air: Widely used as it contains around 20% oxygen, which helps compensate for the drawbacks of using pure oxygen or nitrogen.
The Cost Analysis of Gas Sources
The cost of nitrogen and oxygen is higher than that of compressed air, and the prices of these two gases have been increasing each year. Therefore, using compressed air as the cutting auxiliary gas can significantly reduce production costs, typically resulting in savings of about half.
The Functions of High-pressure Gas
1. Cooling the cutting surface: High-pressure gas is used to cool the melting area during the cutting process, preventing material hardening, i.e., avoiding heat treatment. This helps maintain the quality of the cutting edge, reduce potential defects, and improve cutting precision.
2. Blowing away the molten slag and dust: During the laser cutting process, high-pressure gas is ejected through the nozzle as a high-speed airflow, blowing away the molten metal slag generated during cutting. This helps keep the cutting area clean, prevents slag accumulation from clogging the laser nozzle, thereby ensuring the stable operation of the laser cutting machine and prolonging its lifespan.
The High Requirements of Compressed Air for Laser Cutting Machines
Laser cutting machines have strict requirements for the quality of compressed air, and they do not allow any presence of moisture or oil in the air. Typically, users need to install a four-stage or even a five-stage filtration system to ensure the longevity of the laser cutting machine. If the compressed air supplied to the cutting head contains moisture or oil, it will quickly cause condensation on the protective lenses, which will negatively impact the quality of the cutting. Failure to promptly replace the protective lenses under such circumstances may lead to increased internal temperatures within the cutting head due to the high-power laser beam, potentially resulting in damage to the internal mirror components.
Layout of The After Treatment Equipments
1. If the distance between the compressor and the laser cutting machine is relatively close, then the cold dryer and the filter can be connected in sequence;
2. If the distance between the compressor and the laser cutting machine is relatively long, then two filters need to be installed at the end of use to deal with the residual moisture and oil in the long-distance pipeline.
We have the normally pressure 10bar to 13bar, the middle pressure 16bar and the high pressure 30bar to 40bar air compressor system for option. We will recommend the suitable air compressor system your laser cutting machine. Welcome to send us inquiry.