Product Code: PIC2008_102

Applications of a Novel Supersonic Laser Cutting Head (Invited Paper)
Antonio Riveiro, Universidade De Vigo; Vigo Spain
Juan Pou, Universidade de Vigo; Vigo Spain
Felix Quintero, Universidade De Vigo; Vigo Spain
Fernando Lusquinos, Universidade De Vigo; Vigo Spain
Rafael Comesana, Universidade De Vigo; Vigo Spain
Presented at PICALO 2008

The use of lasers as cutting tools is well established in industry for processing of steels thanks to their great general advantages compared to traditional methods. However, there are materials difficult to be cut by standard laser cutting heads such as some aluminum alloys and ceramics. In this work, a novel approach of processing these difficult materials is explored. Our efforts are aimed to cut aluminium alloys such as 2024-T3 and 7075-T6 and ceramics such as mullite alumina plates by a CO2 laser. To accomplish this objective we used a novel laser cutting head assisted by a gas jet working in supersonic regime. This supersonic nozzle and the intrinsic geometry of the cutting head allow carrying out the processing of these materials more efficiently than conventional cutting heads. The microstructural characterization, grain morphology, kerfs dimensions and surface finish of the cuts have been analyzed. The cut edges are free of heat affected zone, dross and cracks. These successful results open up new possibilities for the laser as a cutting tool even for difficult materials.

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