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Product Code: JLA_4_1_9


Authors:
P. A. Molian
M. Baldwin



In laser cutting, the largest single application of lasers in manufacturing, the assist gas plays an important role in affecting the cutting performance. The assist gas is usually oxygen or an inert gas. In this work a mixture of acetylene and oxygen was employed to create combustion reactions during CO2 laser cutting that enabled an improvement in the cutting speed, and cut quality of a difficult‐to‐machine superalloy. A comparison with laser cutting of a plain carbon steel under identical conditions was also made to determine the usefulness of combustion energy. Results indicate that both cutting speed and quality are enhanced by the reduction in the viscosity of slag formed during cutting (which assisted in ejection of the slag through the bottom of the kerf) due to the heat released by the acetylene burning inside the kerf. Correlations of experimental data with a theoretical model provided the influence of combustion power and gas‐flow power on the cutting phenomena.

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