Optical EngineeringContinuous-wave fiber laser cutting of aluminum thin sheets: effect of process parameters and optimization
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One-millimeter-thick Al 1050 sheets were cut using a 2-kW fiber laser operating in continuous-wave (CW) mode. An experimental approach that consisted of fitting the regression models by means of response surface methodology was adopted. The effects of cutting speed, assist gas pressure, and focal position on roughness arithmetic mean value were investigated. The desirability function was applied for the simultaneous optimization of cut quality and operating costs. The full potential of the CW mode high processing speeds and of the better absorptivity of 1-μm laser radiation for highly reflective materials are employed at the same time. Cutting aluminum with fiber laser increases the cutting speed and gives a cut quality comparable with results obtained with CO2 and Nd:YAG lasers that represent the most established laser sources for this application.