What you need know about Laser Cutting Copper - Glorystar Laser

What you need know about Laser Cutting Copper

Today’s article focuses on laser cutting copper. Let’s take a look together.

We all know that, the cutting process of highly reflective materials is often challenging, and it is a problem that many fiber laser cutting devices find difficult to solve. However, common highly reflective materials such as copper, aluminum, and gold often require frequent processing in daily production.

About copper

Pure copper combines good conductivity, magnetic resistance, high thermal conductivity, strength, plasticity, and corrosion resistance in various environments. Copper easily absorbs blue, purple, and ultraviolet wavelengths emitted by fiber laser cutters. Since CO2 reflects red and infrared wavelengths generated by lasers, the long-term effect of lasers on these materials can affect the lifespan of the laser cutter. It leads to poor subsequent processing effects and increased consumable usage. Therefore, CO2 laser cutters are not the optimal method for cutting copper.

Is fiber laser cutting machine more suitable for cutting copper:

Yes, fiber laser cutters generally perform well when dealing with metal materials, including copper. Here are some brief intoduction of fiber laser cutting’s advantages when cutting copper:

 

High energy efficiency: Fiber laser cutters have high photoelectric conversion efficiency, effectively converting laser energy into cutting energy to improve cutting efficiency.

Precision cutting: Fiber laser cutters have high precision and a small spot size, enabling precise cutting of metals like copper, suitable for applications requiring high-quality cutting.

High cutting speed: Fiber laser cutters typically have high cutting speeds, completing a large number of cutting tasks in a short time to improve production efficiency.

Narrow kerf: The small spot size of fiber laser cutters allows for narrow kerfs, reducing material waste.

Contactless cutting: Laser cutting is a contactless process, minimizing physical contact with the material surface and reducing damage to copper during cutting. minimizing physical contact with the material surface and reducing damage to copper during cutting. 

Strong adaptability: Fiber laser cutters show strong adaptability to different thicknesses and shapes of copper materials, flexibly addressing various cutting requirements.

When laser cutting copper, there are several factors that go into successfully achieving a perfect cut. Here are some key factors:

What are the key facutors attributing to sucessful cuts of copper?

Laser Power: Make sure the laser power is sufficient to overcome the thermal conductivity of copper to achieve a clean cut.

Focus Adjustment: Ensures the focus is at the correct location on the workpieces surface to help obtain precise cuts.

Cutting speed: Controlling cutting speed is crucial to achieving a clean cut. Properly adjusting the speed prevents overheating and helps maintain the quality of the cut edge.

Auxiliary gas: Choosing the appropriate auxiliary gas plays a key role in laser cutting copper. Typically, using nitrogen reduces oxidation and helps maintain the quality of the cut edge.

Nozzle Selection: The type and status of the cutting nozzle affects the cutting process. Using an appropriate, well-conditioned nozzle ensures proper gas flow and helps maintain cut quality.

Material Thickness: The power and performance of the equipment must be matched to the specific thickness of the material being processed. Thicker materials may require a more powerful laser system.

Of course, not only the above factors, but also the surface impurities of the cutting material, the maintenance of equipment components, the testing and optimization of the machine, etc. are all worthy of our consideration to ensure that better products are cut.

If cutting speed is fast, will the cutting copper effect be better?

Not absolutely, using a high-speed laser cutter to cut copper does bring some advantages in certain situations, but other factors need to be balanced to ensure cut quality. On the one hand, it can improve production efficiency, reduce processing time, and reduce costd. On the other hand, it will affect the cutting quality and equipment stability, and it will also cause a waste of materials to a certain extent.

Which auxiliary gas can be used to improve cutting speed?

Usually oxygen is considered, because oxygen will chemically react with the copper on the surface to form copper oxide. When copper oxide is formed, a large amount of heat will be released, thereby increasing the cutting speed of the laser. However, it is worth mentioning that using oxygen as an auxiliary gas will produce a certain oxide layer and heat-affected zone. If there are higher requirements for edge quality, post-processing is required. Furthermore, if you have higher requirements on the surface and edges, you can consider using nitrogen as an auxiliary gas.

OK, today’s sharing is so much for this. I hope these points I mentioned could help you. If you have any other confusions or other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. By the way, never forget we are Glorystar, a manufacturer specializing in the production of laser equipment. If you have demands for laser equipment, come on and get contact with us. We are willing to receive your messages and happy to  answer to you.

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