Investigations into fibre laser cutting

Hashemzadeh, Majid (2014) Investigations into fibre laser cutting. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Fibre laser cutting of mild steel using oxygen and nitrogen is widely used in industries throughout the world. An IPG YLR-2000 Ytterbium fibre machine with a maximum power of 2 kW and a wavelength of 1.06 µm is used throughout this research. The effects of oxygen and nitrogen as assist gases on the feature of laser cutting process are different in terms of kerf width, surface roughness, heat affected zone and striation pattern. The kerf width in oxygen laser cutting is wider than that for nitrogen. The striation pattern on oxygen cut edge is smoother than that for the nitrogen cut edge. When using oxygen, the cut edge is covered by a fragile oxide layer while this feature is not seen on the nitrogen cut edge. After laser cutting with oxygen, the cut edge is dross free whilst nitrogen cut edge is drossy.

Laser piercing is used to generate a starting point for laser cutting. The pierced hole is normally larger than the kerf width, which means that it cannot lie on the cutline. An experimental programme investigating the piercing process as a function of laser and assist gas parameters is presented. Oxygen and nitrogen were used as assist gases, with pressures ranging from 0.3 to 12 bar. The sizes, geometries and piercing time of the holes produced have been analysed. The pierced hole size decreases with increasing gas pressure and increasing laser power. Oxygen assist gas produced larger diameter holes than nitrogen. A new technique is presented which produces pierced holes no larger than the kerf with and would allow the pierced hole to lie on the cut line of the finished product – allowing better material usage. This uses an inclined jet of nitrogen when piercing prior to oxygen assisted cutting.

Specific point energy (SPE) is a concept that has been successfully used in laser welding where SPE and power density determine penetration depth. This analysis allows welding carried out by different laser systems to be directly compared. This work investigates if the SPE concept can be applied to laser cutting. Laser cutting of various thicknesses of mild steel, two different optical set ups and three different delivery fibres with a range of powers and translation speeds is done to gain results for numerous different parameter combinations. It is found that the SPE concept is applicable to laser cutting and the following effects noted: for given material thickness and any given value of SPE, cost is decreased by using a larger beam diameter; for given cut sheet thickness, cutting efficiency increases with SPE; for given value of SPE, cutting efficiency increases as material thickness decreases.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Voisey, K.T.O.
Powell, J.
Keywords: Laser beam cutting, Specific point energy
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
Item ID: 14057
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2014 14:55
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 12:01
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/14057

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