Many companies shy away from laser cutting aluminium sheet as it can be notoriously difficult to cut. There are a number of reasons for this:
Many laser cutting companies only offer cutting using Oxygen, this means that they cannot successfully cut aluminium because Nitrogen gas has to be used to achieve an acceptable cut. Cutting with Nitrogen is vastly more expensive than laser cutting with Oxygen because more gas is used in the cutting process and the cost per litre is also higher. At GF Laser we have invested in a nitrogen generation system that allows us to make our own nitrogen using compressed air. This means we can pass on savings to customer as well as being able to offer laser cutting of Aluminium.
Because Aluminium is a softer metal than mild steel or stainless steel it makes it more problematic to laser cut when compared to mild or stainless steel. However, the more experienced laser cutter will use the advanced settings of their laser to control speed, gas pressures and laser focus until an acceptable cut is achieved.
Some laser cutting companies are also hesitant to laser cut Aluminium because of the risk of damaging the laser. This is because cutting certain aluminium can result in the laser beam being reflected back into the machine and causing thousands of pounds of damage. Fortunately the newer laser cutting machines have advanced sensors which shut down the laser if any reflection is detected. This gives the operator a chance to change settings before any problems occur.
Simon Tregillus | Director
T: 01384 245095
M: 07792 143076
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