This exciting new European project is creating a novel 1 �m wavelength specific laser cutting head, capable of cutting up to 15mm thick stainless steel, with cut quality similar or better than that currently achieved with CO2 laser cutting systems. The aim of the work is also to increase available cutting speeds in the thickness range between 3mm and 15mm.�
These goals are being realised through the development of new beam-forming optics and supersonic assist gas nozzles. Key benefits will include higher laser cutting speeds and improved cut quality when using 1�m laser source.
Results from the Fibre delivered Laser beam Cutting Optimisation project (FILCO) will be used to enable high quality 1�m laser cutting of metallic plates up to 15mm in thickness while delivering higher processing speeds. This will allow end-user job-shop SMEs to enhance productivity and at the same time, significantly reduce operating costs.
Consortium partners TWI Ltd, Fraunhofer-ILT, Precitec KG, Optolita UAB, Laser Expertise Ltd, Q-Sys BV and Metalmark Ltd are working together to:�
- model of gas dynamic effects of current and new design of laser cutting nozzles with emphasis on achieving higher shear stress, reduced flow separation and minimum dynamic instabilities in the gas stream incident on the part being cut;
- use modelling and simulation to produce and demonstrate new optical beam focusing designs capable of producing a range of laser beam focus diameters and divergence;
- laser-cut mild steel in the thickness range 3-15mm using oxygen as the assist gas providing similar cut quality achieved using CO2 laser sources.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme [FP7/2007-2013] under grant agreement 315405.�
For further information, please visit the FILCO website or contact us.