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Proceedings Paper

Aerodynamic Interactions During Laser Cutting
Author(s): J Fieret; M J Terry; B A Ward
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Paper Abstract

Most laser cutting systems utilise a gas jet to remove molten or vaporised material from the kerf. The speed, economy and quality of the cut can be strongly dependent on the aerodynamic conditions created by the nozzle, workpiece proximity and kerf shape. Adverse conditions can be established that may lead to an unwelcome lack of reproducibility of cut quality. Relatively low gas nozzle pressures can result in supersonic flow in the jet with its associated shock fronts. When the nozzle is placed at conventional distances (1-2mm) above the workpiece, the force exerted by the gas on the workpiece and the cut products (the cutting pressure) can be significantly less than the nozzle pressure. Higher cutting pressures can be achieved by increasing the height of the nozzle above the workpiece, to a more damage resistant zone, provided that the shock structure of the jet is taken into account. Conventional conical nozzles with circular exits can be operated with conditions that will result in cutting pressures up to 3 Bar (g) in the more distant zone. At higher pressures in circular tipped nozzles the cutting pressure in this zone decays to inadequate levels. Investigations of a large number of non-circular nozzle tip shapes have resulted in the selection of a few specific shapes that can provide cutting pressures in excess of 6 Bar(g) at distances of 4 to 7mm from the nozzle tip. Since there is a strong correlation between cutting pressure and the speed and quality of laser cutting, the paper describes the aerodynamic requirements for achieving the above effects and reports the cutting results arising from the different nozzle designs and conditions. The results of the work of other investigators, who report anomalous laser cutting results, will be examined and reviewed in the light of the above work.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 November 1986
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 0668, Laser Processing: Fundamentals, Applications, and Systems Engineering, (12 November 1986); doi: 10.1117/12.938884
Show Author Affiliations
J Fieret, UKAEA Culham Laboratory (UK)
M J Terry, UKAEA Culham Laboratory (UK)
B A Ward, UKAEA Culham Laboratory (UK)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0668:
Laser Processing: Fundamentals, Applications, and Systems Engineering
Walter W. Duley; Robert W. Weeks, Editor(s)

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