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Product Code: ICAL09_602

Effects of Internal Design Geometry in De Laval Nozzles for Off-Axis Assist Gas Injection on Inert-Gas Laser Cutting Performance
Antonio Riveiro, Universidade De Vigo; Vigo Spain
Felix Quintero, Universidade De Vigo; Vigo Spain
Rafael Comesana, Universidade De Vigo; Vigo Spain
Jesus Del Val, Universidade De Vigo; Vigo Spain
Mohamed Boutinguiza, Universidade De Vigo; Vigo Spain
Fernando Lusquinos, Universidade De Vigo; Vigo Spain
Juan Pou, Universidade De Vigo; Vigo Spain
Presented at ICALEO 2009

The aerodynamic interactions of the assist gas during fusion laser cutting are an essential parameter determining cutting performance. This subject has been object of multiple studies to determine the influence of the assist gas jet interactions with the workpiece in order to design assist gas injection systems which surpass the drawbacks exhibited by conventional cutting heads. Cutting heads incorporating off-axis de Laval nozzles to inject a supersonic gas jet, have been demonstrated by different authors to be effective options to increase performance and cut quality during fusion laser cutting of difficult materials. However, all efforts conducted in this direction comprised the use of nozzles with axial symmetry.
In this work, the fundamentals of a novel cutting head incorporating an off-axis nozzle, with non-axial internal symmetry are described. Gas flow inside the cut kerf is analysed by means of flow visualization techniques. Moreover, cutting results are presented and compared with those obtained through cutting heads assisted by axial-symmetric de Laval nozzles and sonic nozzles in off-axis and coaxial configurations with regard to the laser beam.

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