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Quality in Laser-Gas-Cutting Stainless Steel and its Improvement

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The effect of cutting parameters in laser-gas-cutting on the qualities of cuts has been studied in stainless steel plate of 0.5 to 4mm thickness using 1kW CO_2 laser. In conventional method, in which oxygen flow is coaxially arranged with focused laser beam, the quality of stainless steel cut is undesirable because an oxide dross tends to cling to the bottom edge of the cut due to its poor fluidity. For this improvement, the two new cutting techniques, "Pile Cutting" and "Tandem Nozzle Cutting", have been developed. Pile cutting, in which stainless steel is cut with a thinner mild steel piled on it, makes it possible to get perfect dross free cut, since a molten iron oxide provided by mild steel enhances the fluidity of the molten layer of stainless steel. Tandem nozzle cutting also gets fine cut having little or no dross, in which an off-axial rear gas jet nozzle is used with the coaxial nozzle so as to enhance a dynamic force of gas jet to eliminate the molten metal and oxide effectively. Furthermore, these two techniques are markedly effective to improve surface roughness and out-of-flatness of the cut.



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