5 Common Using Mistakes in Laser Cutting and How to Solve Them

Laser cutting is one of the most effective ways to cut various materials for processing and has been widely used in society. Although laser cutting is a more environmentally friendly and safe cutting method, improper use is not only easy to cause damage to the machine, but also to other dangers. The following are 5 common using mistakes and solutions compiled by Emitlaser.

1, Cut or Engraved Improper Materials

As we all know, laser engraving and cutting machines can cut many kinds of materials, such as CO2 laser cutting machines can cut non-metallic materials, such as wood, cloth, leather, bamboo products, rubber, etc.; fiber cutting machines can cut metal materials, such as stainless steel, aluminum plate, brass, etc. However, if the metal material is cut with a CO2 laser cutting machine, not only will it have no effect, it will also cause damage to the laser head and lens. If a fiber cutting machine is used to cut non-metallic materials, it will easily cause damage to non-metallic materials due to its higher power.

In addition to using the corresponding materials according to the function of the machine, it is also necessary to avoid cutting materials that go against regulations. These non-compliant materials may produce toxic gas, change color, or catch fire after thermal processing, causing personal damage. The following are the sorted materials that cannot be cut by laser and the reasons.


Materials

Consequence

Reasons
PC (Polycarbonate)The cutting edge is yellow and melted, smokey, and smells unpleasant.Polycarbonate is a high molecular weight polymer containing carbonate groups in its molecular chain and is a strong thermoplastic resin. Because of its good heat resistance, the cutting effect is poor and the cutting edge will turn yellow. Generally, laser machines are not used for cutting it.
Insulation boardImpenetrable cuttingThe insulating board is made of rubber-like insulating material, and the laser cutting machine is generally not cut through, so the effect is poor.
Rusty iron plateImpenetrable cutting, poor cutting quality, slag splashThe laser itself cannot be a light source, it will only generate heat after being absorbed by the surface of the sheet metal workpiece. In the case of rusty or non-rusty material surfaces, the laser absorption is different, and the heat generation is also greatly affected. The efficiency of cutting rusty iron plates will be reduced, the scrap rate will increase, and blasting may occur during punching and cutting, causing pollution to the lens. Slag splash may damage the protective lens and focusing lens.
PVC (polyvinyl chloride)Emitting acid and toxic smogIn the case of thermal processing, PVC will decompose hydrogen chloride gas, which is harmful to the human body and damages the optical components of the laser cutting machine.
ABSProducing toxic substances and cyanide compounds.ABS resin is a copolymerization product of acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. Its thermal decomposition products are aromatic hydrocarbons and fused-ring aromatic hydrocarbons. These are strong carcinogens and produce cyanide compounds.
High-density polyethyleneCutting edge meltingThe temperature of the laser beam is relatively high and the high-density polyethylene is flammable. The edge cut by the laser cutting machine is easy to burn, it will melt when it burns, and the liquid will drop.
Polystyrene, polypropylene foamEasy to catch fireCutting them with a laser cutting machine can easily cause them to catch fire and melt.
Glass fiberDifficult to cut, poor effect, and producing smogGlass fiber is a mixture of two materials-glass and fiber resin. It is difficult to cut glass alone, and cutting resin will generate smog.

How to Solve it?

#1, Cut the material according to the function of the machine itself. If it is non-metallic material, use a carbon dioxide laser cutting machine, and use an optical fiber cutting machine for metal materials. Of course, a mixed cutting machine can also be used, which can cut non-metallic materials, stainless steel, and carbon steel.

#2, If cutting the rusty iron plate, the iron plate needs to be removed rust before cutting.

#3, For the poor cutting effect, toxic gas, or melting or fire produced by laser cutting machines, the materials can be cold-processed, such as woodworking engraving machine, waterjet cutting machine, etc.

Note:

  1. For non-metallic materials with high hardness such as glass, stone, ceramics, etc., only engraving can be performed, not cutting.
  2. Do not process a certain material before it is clear whether it can be irradiated or heated by a laser, so as to avoid burning or producing toxic smog.

2, Frost Crack of Laser Tube

This problem is common in areas with low winter temperatures. Many people will ignore machine maintenance in winter. The climate is cold in winter, especially when the temperature reaches below zero, the coolant in the laser tube is easy to freeze. After freezing, the volume of ice will increase and the laser tube will be cracked.

How to Solve it?

#1, Drain the water in the laser tube in winter and pour it into antifreeze. Antifreeze is similar to oil, which can cool and prevent freezing.

#2, Maintain the ambient temperature, preferably between 6 and 32 degrees Celsius.

Note: Antifreeze can not replace distilled water or deionized water as the coolant. After winter, replace the antifreeze with distilled water and clean the pipeline with distilled water.

3, Not Paying Attention to Maintenance of Machine Parts

The normal service life of a machine can reach 7 to 8 years or even more than ten years, but the usual careless maintenance of the machine will reduce the service life of the machine. The following are maintenance items that are easily overlooked.

  1. The working environment of the laser cutting and engraving machine is dusty, and some materials will produce smoke. If things go on like this, soot and dust will accumulate on the surface of the lens, and the transmittance of the lens will decrease. Not only does the cutting efficiency and quality decrease, but the high-intensity laser can easily break the lens.
    Solutions: Wipe the lens frequently to keep the lens clean; open the doors and windows when the laser cutting machine is working, which is conducive to the emission of soot and dust.
  2. If the guide rail is not properly maintained, it may rust. If the guide rail is rusty, the working speed of the machine will slow down and the precision of engraving and cutting will decrease.
    Solution: Often wipe some oil for the guide rail to prevent rust.
  3. If the wrong coolant is selected, the incrustation scale will be generated in the chiller and the waterway will be blocked, which will affect the normal operation and service life of the machine.
    Solution: Choose distilled water or deionized water as the coolant. Because the distilled water contains very few minerals, there is very little incrustation scale produced by long-term water circulation, which will protect the laser tube very well.

4, Incorrect Use of the Machine

In addition to the daily maintenance of the machine, the use of the machine and the maintenance after use will also affect it. Improper use will not only cause damage to the machine, but also reduce the service life of the machine, and even cause harm to the operator.

Note:

  1. The operator must be trained, familiar with the structure and performance of the machine, and master the relevant knowledge of the operating system;
  2. Be sure to confirm that the cooling system has been operating normally before work;
  3. Operators are not allowed to leave their posts or entrusted to take care of them when the machine is started. If they really need to leave, they should stop the machine or cut off the power switch;
  4. Keep fire extinguishers and keep them within easy reach;
  5. When an abnormality is found during processing, the machine should be shut down immediately, and the malfunction should be eliminated in time and then the machine should be restarted;
  6. When the machine is working, do not adjust the electric current, do not reach under the laser head or between the lens and the laser head;
  7. Do not use laser cutting and engraving machines during thunderstorms;
  8. Don’t overload the machine. The engraving machine needs to be stopped for half an hour after three hours of continuous operation; the laser or shutter should be turned off when not processing.

5, Bad cutting effect

Sometimes you may encounter this situation: the purchased machine is very suitable for cutting a material when it is replaced with another material, the cutting edge of the material will be yellow and have obvious burn marks.

Solutions: The first step is to check whether the material can be cut with a laser cutting machine; the second step is to check whether the blowing volume is sufficient. If not enough, increase the blowing volume; the third step is to check whether the machine power or the moving speed of the laser head is appropriate. The power of each machine can be adjusted, which can reduce the power or speed up the movement of the laser head.

There is also a situation that the machine you purchased is suitable for cutting a certain material, but the actual cutting effect is poor or the cutting is not thorough.

Solutions:

  1. The light path has deviated, so adjust the light path;
  2. The lens transmittance is poor, so wipe the lens;
  3. The adjusted machine power is too small, so increase the machine power.

The above are the 5 common mistakes and solutions when using laser cutting and engraving machines. If you encounter other difficulties while using the machine and do not know how to solve it, you can contact our after-sales service staff at any time, and our professional and technical staff will provide you with the most professional answers and help in the first time.

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