How to choose the most suitable cutting tech?

27/02/2022
With recent breakthroughs in the laser world of fiber cutting technology, there is a competition between high definition plasma, CO2 laser, and fiber laser.
Cutting
Cutting
Which is the most economical? The most accurate? For what kind of thickness? How about material? In this post we will explain the characteristics of each, so that we are best able to choose the one that best suits our needs.

Waterjet

This is an interesting technology for all those materials that might be affected by heat when performing cold cutting, such as plastics, coatings or cement panels. To increase the power of the cut, an abrasive material may be used that is suitable for working with steel measuring greater than 300 mm. It can be very useful in this manner for hard materials such as ceramics, stone or glass.
 

 

Oxycut

This technology is the most suitable for carbon steel of greater thicknesses (75mm). However, it is not effective for stainless steel and aluminum. It offers a high degree of portability, since it does not require a special electrical connection, and initial investment is low.

Plasma

High-definition plasma is close to laser in quality for greater thicknesses, but with a lower purchase cost. It is the most suitable from 5mm, and is practically unbeatable from 30mm, where the laser is not able to reach, with the capacity to reach up to 90mm in thickness in carbon steel, and 160mm in stainless steel. Without a doubt, it is a good option for bevel cutting. It can be used with ferrous and non-ferrous, as well as oxidized, painted, or grid materials.


CO2 Laser

Generally speaking, the laser offers a more precise cutting capability. This is especially the case with lesser thicknesses and when machining small holes. CO2 is suitable for thicknesses between 5mm and 30mm.

Fiber Laser

Fiber laser is proving itself to be a technology that offers the speed and quality of traditional CO2 laser cutting, but for thicknesses less than 5 mm. In addition, it is more economical and efficient in terms of energy usage. As a result, investment, maintenance and operation costs are lower. In addition, the gradual decrease in the price of the machine has been significantly reducing differentiating factors in comparison to plasma. Due to this, an increasing number of manufacturers have begun to embark on the adventure of marketing and manufacturing this type of technology. This technique also offers better performance with reflective materials, including copper and brass. In short, the fiber laser is becoming a leading technology, with an added ecological advantage.
 


As we can see, the cutting specialization and the use of different cutting technologies for each particular case also involves having CAD/CAM software that is able to address the use and combination of these machines within a single system. In addition, it must include the possibility of assigning and managing the ideal machine, combining both technology and the workload situation. It should also always allow us to manufacture with the quality that is needed, in the most economical manner possible, and respecting delivery times.

Source: www.manufacturingtomorrow.com

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