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Considerations for Laser Cutting Aluminium

Laser cutting is a process used by many industries and the beauty of laser cutting is that it can be used with a variety of materials. Aluminium is a lightweight material that is resistant to corrosion and therefore, you can find this for many applications.

When you are considering a laser cut aluminium project, you have to think about the thickness of aluminium used. Not every laser cutting machine will have the same capabilities so you will need to look for a machine that is able to work with this thickness. This will give you an indication of the power of the laser machine along with its type and power.

Generally, cutting aluminium will require less power and machines with higher cutting speeds. When it comes to thicker materials, you will need a laser cutting machine that has more power with a slower cutting speed. By choosing a laser cutting service experienced technicians and well-maintained machinery, you will be able to achieve more precision in the cuts without damaging the material.

Some of the laser machines

You will see in the industry are CO2 lasers and fibre lasers which are both commonly used to cut aluminium given their versatility. You can choose higher power lasers when working with thicker aluminium sheets and thin sheets are best used with a lower power laser. If you don’t control the power of the laser precisely, it can lead to the material becoming overheated and sometimes the sheet may melt in places.

This is why it is important to select a reliable aluminium cutting service that is able to offer a higher level of precision when it comes to cutting projects. You also need to consider the choice of assist gas. Some of the primary options you will come across for assist gas will be oxygen and nitrogen. But nitrogen is preferred when it comes to working with aluminium as you will be able to achieve a cleaner cut. This will also minimise oxide formation. Oxygen tends to react with aluminium affecting the quality of the cut.

When achieving a precise cut

You need to consider the design of the nozzle and the precise focusing of the laser beam. The nozzle is what delivers the assist gas to be cutting area. There has to be a correct distance kept between the material and the nozzle so that you are able to achieve consistency in cutting quality. And it is important to focus the laser beam on the precise spot.

When the laser beam is focused, you will be able to have a narrower kerf especially when achieving fine details. The cutting speed refers the rate at which the laser is moving across the surface of the cutting material. The optimal cutting speed depends on several factors including laser power, type of assist gas used and thickness of aluminium. You need to achieve a higher quality in the cut edge when it comes to aluminium cutting and this will be affected by the power of the laser, assist gas and the focus.

Emerson Burton
the authorEmerson Burton

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