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Anshan Heli Laser Equipment Co., Ltd.

National Service Hotline : 400-641-6888

Address: No. 368 Qianshan Road, High-tech Zone, Anshan City

Dongguan Heli Laser Equipment Co., Ltd.

Address: No. 48 Wenxiang Road, Xiaoxiang, Wanjiang District, Dongguan City, Guangdong Province

Phone: 0769-88879968

0769-21661919

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Users often face the question of how to choose the most suitable metal cutting process

Release time: 2015.01.15 News source: Laser cutting machine, laser engraving machine, laser marking machine, laser equipment brand manufacturer-Dongguan Heli Laser Equipment Co., Ltd. Browse times:

In the field of metal processing applications, users often face the problem of how to choose the most suitable metal cutting process. In fact, the current mainstream metal cutting processes have their own characteristics in terms of cutting thickness, cutting accuracy, metallurgical performance, and production efficiency.
This article is not exhaustive of all the above features and details, but can only be summarized and summarized, hoping to bring you a better understanding so that you can make the best choice.
Before we discuss the technology and capabilities of each process, we must first identify which requirements are most important to users in the metalworking industry:
Equipment purchase cost: The above several cutting methods need to be equipped with different CNC, dust removal equipment, CAD / CAM software, etc. For example, lasers require higher speed and precision on thin plates than the slower cutting speeds of waterjets and flames. These requirements directly lead to huge differences in equipment costs.
Cutting cost per unit part or unit length: This cost includes gas, nozzles, electrodes, electricity and water. In some cases, equipment purchase costs and labor costs (such as loading and unloading) are shared. So be sure to pay attention to its scope when making comparisons. Compared with the unit time cost, the unit part or unit length cost covers cutting speed and production efficiency, and has more practical reference value.
Ease of use: This requirement mainly lies in software (especially CAM) and CNC. Reduce learning time and dependence on experience with built-in integration of professional experience. For example, Haibao, a leader in the field of plasma cutting, directly integrates Haibao's full set of process parameters into Haibao's own nesting software and CNC control. New users can quickly grasp and maintain the cutting quality and production consistent with professional veterans effectiveness. Although this demand is difficult to quantify, it cannot be ignored for actual production.
Productivity: Also called capacity. Cutting speed is often the determining factor for capacity.
Cutting part accuracy: There are many ways to measure the accuracy of metal parts. Relative to internal bores, tolerance requirements for external contours are usually lower. So now many metal cutting suppliers have introduced higher quality inner hole technology, such as Haibao's integrated bolt hole cutting technology. In addition, the user usually only measures the upper surface during the measurement, but in fact the size of the bottom surface will vary greatly due to the influence of the cutting slope. For the sake of simplicity, it is recommended to use positive and negative tolerance values for the upper surface measurement, and then consider the cutting slope of each process.
Edge quality, metallurgical properties: All the above processes have different effects on metal machinability, formability and weldability.
Maintenance requirements: The long-term use cost needs to consider the maintenance of these different processes and the ease of maintenance.
Below is a brief description of these different processes, including flame cutting, fine plasma, 3 kW fiber laser and waterjet. For comparison, I will use the complete system equipment purchase cost, including 5 'x 10' (about 1.5 x 3 meters) cutting area, an industrial CNC machine (neither entry-level nor highest configuration), CAD / CAM software.
1. Flame cutting The flame cutting process is the simplest of all the cutting techniques we discuss here. The principle is to first heat steel to a "burning point" temperature (approximately 1800F) with a flammable gas. Once this temperature is reached through preheating, then spray pure oxygen to generate an exothermic reaction with the hot steel, quickly eroding the steel. Flames can only cut carbon steel, and are mostly used in thicknesses from 1/4 "(about 6.35mm) to 6" (about 150mm). The cutting speed is faster than other processes when the thickness is more than 2 "(about 50mm). It is easy and cheap to install multiple flame cutting torches on a CNC machine at the same time, which can double the production capacity.
5'x 10 'flame cutting bed cost: 80,000 to 180,000 yuan (relatively simple machine with low speed)
Cutting cost per unit part or unit length: considerable air consumption and slow cutting speed. The thicker the thickness of the steel plate, the better the cutting cost compared to plasma. Cutting costs per foot are usually higher than plasma, and costs are relatively low for thicknesses greater than 2 "(about 50mm).
Ease of use: The flame CNC cutting machine requires the operator to be experienced to achieve the fastest cutting speed and best cutting quality. It is often necessary to constantly monitor the cutting process.
Productivity: Due to the long preheating time and slow cutting speed of flame cutting, the production efficiency is very low.
Cutting part accuracy: Good operators at the most appropriate speed, height, gas, nozzle conditions, cutting part size tolerance is about plus or minus 0. 030 "(about 0.76mm), the slope is less than 1 degree.
Edge quality, metallurgical properties: The heat-affected zone of flame cutting is large. The section is rough and there is dross.
Maintenance requirements: The maintenance of the flame cutting bed is relatively simple, and users can master it.
2. Fine plasma Fine plasma is a cutting arc that uses high temperature ionized gas to generate high energy density, so it can cut all conductive materials. The latest technology requires no operator experience. Fine plasma is best for cutting carbon steel from 26 gauge (about 0.45mm) to 2 "(about 50mm) thick, and stainless steel and aluminum within 6?" (About 160mm) thickness.
5 'x 10' plasma cutting bed cost: 400,000-600,000 RMB (faster speed, equipped with height adjustment and dust removal)
Cutting cost per unit part or unit length: On carbon steel with a thickness of 0.25 "(about 6.35mm) to 2" (about 50mm), the cutting cost of plasma is the lowest compared to other processes.
Ease of use: Equipped with the latest CNC and software, Plasma is very easy to learn and use. Because the professional process parameters are already built in the nesting software, there is no experience requirement for the operator.
Productivity: When the thickness is greater than 0.25 "(about 6.35mm), the cutting speed is faster than the laser. When the thickness is less than 2" (about 50mm), the cutting speed is faster than the flame. Plasma is the fastest and most efficient of all cutting processes.
Cutting part accuracy: Carbon steel cutting part size tolerance is about plus or minus 0.015 "(about 0.38mm) to 0.020" (about 0.5mm). For thin plates less than 3/8 "(about 9.5mm), the slope is 2-3 degrees. For thick plates greater than 1/2" (about 12.7mm), the slope is within 1 degree.
Edge quality and metallurgical properties: The heat-affected zone is small, usually less than 0.010 "(about 0.25mm). The cross-section has good solderability, and is smooth and free of slag.
Maintenance requirements: maintenance is relatively simple, users can master it themselves, or only the manufacturer's telephone support.
3. Fiber laser Fiber laser is the latest laser technology. The solid-state laser generator used is more efficient than the traditional Co2 laser, and the wavelength of the fiber laser is suitable for conducting in a thin and soft fiber, which is more flexible and easier to maintain than a CO2 laser that can only be transmitted by specular reflection. The high-energy laser melts the material to be cut by focusing, and the auxiliary gas (usually oxygen when cutting carbon steel) blows off the molten metal. A 3 kW fiber laser is equivalent to a 4 to 5 kW CO2 laser in cutting capacity and speed. Its cutting capacity can generally reach 3/4 "(about 19mm) thick carbon steel.
5'x 10 'Fiber Laser Cutting Bed Cost: 2 ~ 3 million RMB (Laser cutting bed requires higher motion accuracy and requires shading protection)
Cutting cost per unit part or unit length: When the thickness is less than 1/4 "(about 6.35mm), the cost of laser cutting is the most advantageous. As the thickness increases, the cutting speed is significantly reduced. Although the cutting quality and accuracy are good, the cutting The cost is higher than plasma.
Ease of use: Similar to the latest plasma system, equipped with the latest CNC and software, the laser cutting machine is also easy to learn and use, because all settings are automatic.
Productivity: Production efficiency is the highest on thin plates. When the thickness is increased to 1/4 "(approximately 6.35mm), it is the same as plasma.
Cutting part accuracy: The best fiber laser cutting part size tolerance is within plus or minus 0.011 "(about 0.25mm). It is better than plasma and comparable to waterjet. The slope is within 1 degree.
Edge quality, metallurgical properties: HAZ is slightly smaller than plasma.
Maintenance requirements: Compared with the previous CO2 laser, the maintenance of fiber lasers is greatly reduced. With the support of the manufacturer's phone, users can generally grasp it.
4. Waterjet waterjet technology has a history of decades, and it has been widely used from cakes to granite materials. Soft materials can be cut with pure water, and high pressure water streams (40,000 to 60,000 psi) are compressed by nozzles, increasing flow rate and energy density. It is also possible to add sand in the water flow, the effect of sand is similar to saw teeth, and cutting is carried out under the impetus of the water flow. Current state-of-the-art waterjet pumps can reach 100,000 psi high-pressure water. Higher pressures mean faster cutting speeds, and of course downtime maintenance times, as the pump seals need to be replaced regularly. Compared to other cutting processes, the two biggest advantages of waterjet are that it has no heat affected zone and can cut almost any material. In addition, the cutting accuracy of the waterjet is very good. But the biggest disadvantage of waterjet is its slow cutting speed.
5'x 10 'waterjet cutting bed cost: 500,000--900,000 RMB (due to its slow speed, it requires low motion performance, is cheaper than a laser bed, and slightly more expensive than a plasma bed)
Cutting cost per unit part or unit length: Because the waterjet cutting speed is too slow, the cutting cost per unit part is the highest compared to other processes.
Ease of use: Similar to the latest plasma system, equipped with the latest CNC and software, the waterjet cutting machine is just as easy to learn and use. The requirements for operator experience are very low.
Productivity: Slow on carbon steel and stainless steel, cut aluminum faster.
Cutting part accuracy: The accuracy of the waterjet is the best of all cutting processes. The cutting part size tolerance is about plus or minus 0.005 "(about 0.13mm). The slope is within 1 degree.
Edge quality, metallurgical properties: No impact on the metallurgical properties of the material being cut. The section is smooth, and the cutting quality is related to the gravel and cutting speed (slower and smoother).
Maintenance requirements: Maintenance is relatively simple, and users can master it themselves.
In the distance, the cutting samples of the five processes are not bad. But if you look closely, you can see that the sample of air plasma has a significant slope, especially the small holes. The cutting slope of the oxygen plasma decreases, and the fine plasma can hardly see the slope.
It is true that it is unfair to make comparisons only on 1/2 ”(about 12.7mm) carbon steel. In this thickness range, fine plasma is undoubtedly the best choice.
But if we cut 1/8 ”(about 3mm) aluminum, we believe that waterjet and laser will be more efficient and accurate.
If the size requirements are relaxed, inexpensive air plasma should be the best choice.
Laser cutting machine , laser engraving machine , laser marking machine , laser equipment brand manufacturer-Dongguan Heli Laser Equipment Co., Ltd We can certainly choose the most suitable metal cutting process and equipment.
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