High Power Converts to High Yields
There are a variety of productivity and quality benefits that are realized when using higher power levels for laser-cutting. These advancements include an increased cutting range, increased cutting speed, increased piercing speed along with improved part edge quality.
Increased Cutting Range
A common assumption is that high power means cutting thicker material, which is true. Across the board for all material types, there is an increase in cutting range with higher power. The 10kW laser can cut 1.00” mild steel, 1.25” stainless steel and 1.25” aluminum.
While this increased range of materials is great. Another asset that high power allows for is an increased range of cutting using nitrogen and high pressure compressed air. Nitrogen and air cutting not only provide faster cutting speeds but also offer clean parts that are ready to paint and require no secondary cleaning processes.
Mild steel with nitrogen’s cut range increased to ½” with 10kW power but it is also impressive with air cutting. According to Tim Tapper, Applications Manager at Mazak Optonics, “A 6kW fiber laser can cut ¼” mild steel using compressed air. Yet with a 10kW’s cutting capability increases to 3/8” mild steel with compressed air. Air cutting with high power is also giving major improvements in cut quality.
An additional benefit to cutting with compress air is the ability to reduce your consumables cost since air is much less expensive than nitrogen. Switching to a high power laser utilizing high pressure compressed air reduces operating costs. Tapper stated, “There has been a consistent interest regarding air cutting from our 6kW fiber customers but our customers that are purchasing 8kW or higher, they are all cutting with air.”
But having a larger cutting range is just one aspect of the advantage of high power laser-cutting.
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