Product Code: JLA_8_4_191

A. Ivarson
J. Powell
C. Magnusson

This paper presents the results of an experimental program investigating the effects of using high pressure oxygen as assist gas in combination with a pulsed laser while cutting medium thick mild steel plates. It was discovered that if the pulse conditions are optimized, the maximum cutting speed for a set average laser power could be increased by up to 10% compared to low oxygen pressure continuous wave (CW) laser cutting. The assist gas was found to have two optimum pressure ranges between which the material suffered from burning on the cut edge. The paper presents a phenomenological model to explain the changes in cut front dynamics as the oxygen pressure is increased and the role of pulsing in suppressing edge burning.

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