Product Code: ICA13_504

Analysing the Temperature Distribution at the Cutting Front and Inside the Cutting Kerf During Co2-Laser Cutting of Aluminium
Michael Jarwitz, IFSW, University of Stuttgart; Stuttgart Germany
Rudolf Weber, Ifsw, University of Stuttgart; Stuttgart Germany
Thomas Graf, Ifsw, University of Stuttgart; Stuttgart Germany
Presented at ICALEO 2013

In laser cutting the cut quality strongly depends on the removal of the molten material from the cutting kerf. The physical properties of the molten layer, which are temperature dependent, and the gas flow of the assist gas inside the cutting kerf are the main factors influencing the melt removal. Therefore the temperature distribution on the cutting front as well as the occurrence of evaporation inside the cutting kerf are important factors influencing the resulting cut quality. The knowledge of the temperature distribution along the cutting front and its change with process parameters is key to a better understanding of the cutting process and an important input parameter for the calibration of numerical models and calculations describing the laser cutting process.

In this study temperature measurements on the cutting front during CO2-laser cutting of aluminium were carried out. Cutting of 2 mm thick aluminium tubes was performed with a radially polarized CO2-Laser. The optical process emissions from the cutting front were measured spectrally and spatially resolved with a spectrometer during the process. The spatial resolution of the measurements allows the determination of a temperature profile along the cutting front. The resultant measurements show both kinds of spectra emission, spectral lines as well as emission of continuous radiation. Thus providing spatially resolved information about the temperature of the evaporated material inside the cutting kerf and about the temperature of the melt layer on the cutting front. The measurements also show fluctuations during the process giving in-formation about the stability of the cutting front.

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