Laser cutting of pipes and profiles differs greatly from a conventional cutting of plates and sheets. The main differences relate to problems that can arise through negligence and not adjusting the cut parameters. What should you be careful about?
Laser cutting and its application
Except for cutting plates or sheets, laser cutting is often used for cutting different pipes and profiles as well.
The main reason for this is the fact that laser cutting is one of the most economical cutting methods with optimum cutting quality.
The special application of laser cutting is in the performance of the demanding 3D positions that are being increasingly cut by laser due to the advantages already mentioned.
Which are the forms that can be cut by a laser?
With the advancement and development of laser technology today there are almost no metal profiles that can’t be cut with a laser. Starting from pipes of different dimensions up to oval profiles. However, what differs a classical cutting of plates or sheets from laser cutting of profiles and 3D shape is the working principle of the cutter itself.
How are the profiles cut then?
In most cases, profile cutting requires fixing on the specially designed head. In addition to having the profile fixed on such a head, it rotates according to the cut being performed. On the other hand, the laser cutter head moves along with the movement or the rotation of the profile being cut and thus cutting.
What’s the difference between 2D and 3D laser cutting?
In 2D laser cutting, the laser cutter head is vertically set against the metal being cut. Due to this position of the head, the change in thickness of the material has no effect on the laser beam.
On the other hand, performing a 3D position requires changes in the angle of inclination, ie the distance of the laser cutter from the metal being cut. This is also the source of problems like:
- The wrong distance of the laser cutter from the metal being cut
- Problems with the gases used, which may result in corrosion of the cut
- Reduction of cutting speed
How about the quality?
The quality of laser cutting of profiles and pipes largely depends on their quality. Accordingly, in order to increase the quality of laser cutting, attention should be paid to parameters such as:
- Changes in metal wall thickness
- Torque loads
- Changes in surface strength
- Surface quality (refers to corrosion and quality of the previous treatment)
Can the profiles be shaped by laser cutting?
Yes, they can. The equipment used for laser cutting of pipes and profiles makes it possible to create complicated and very demanding positions. However, when performing such 3D positions, there should be an awareness of the limitations and problems that may occur during their performance.
Are there other limitations?
Limitations are generally reduced to the possibility of breaking on the opposite side of the tube with a laser beam. This is one of the most significant problems in performing slit cuts and requires additional adjustment of cut parameters such as:
- Melted metal leakage on the opposite wall of the pipe
- The already mentioned undesirable breaking on the opposite side of the tube with a laser beam
- A significant increase in temperature can lead to damages