TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 401/1989
S C Kennedy and G A Street
Industrial high power lasers have been used for cutting steels since the early seventies. Although their usage is increasing yearly, general information on the laser cutting process, leading to an understanding of how the process parameters affect cut quality, is not readily available for potential users. The aim of this study is to review the current status of laser cutting machine development, to review current theories on the mechanisms of laser cutting, and, through a series of cutting trials on carbon steel and stainless steel, to show experimentally how each of the process variables affects cut quality. The experimental work has highlighted the differences between laser cutting these two types of steel and has shown how process parameters can be optimised to give repeatable good quality cuts.