7 Tips for Laser Cutting Mild Steel
Engineers will often recommend custom laser cutting as it offers numerous benefits compared to traditional mechanical methods. And when paired with software controls, the laser assures precise results on metals of various dimensions, every time.
Here are some tips from the team at KNS Metals with laser-cutting mild steel for perfect finishes.
1. Align the ratio of material thickness and wattage
The laser’s wattage determines the depth of mild steel you can cut and the speed at which you can do it. We suggest checking your laser system’s specifications to see these details. Some variations are inevitable, but the manufacturer’s guide will also help.
2. Pierce the steel
The piercing process operates in different settings than the cutting process. Keep this in mind for the moment when the laser first penetrates the material.
3. Don’t clip the beam
Align the laser beam to go directly through the nozzle’s centre. It’s a key piece in cutting mild steel. Otherwise, the nozzle will clip the beam, decrease in power, and weaken the beam from piercing the material. After this, the laser can’t make clean cuts anymore and leaves the mild steel with unclean edges.
4. Adjust the focus point
Keep the nozzle at 0.10 inches – 0.20 inches from the processed material. With this, the laser beam gains the ideal focal point for the laser’s optimal performance. Having the nozzle too high will bring it out of focus.
5. Examine your view
Make sure that your mirrors and lenses are debris-free. Or else, bad optics won’t help cut the mild steel effectively.
6. Pick a suitable assist gas
Oxygen assist or regular shop air is best for cutting mild steel. Meanwhile, oxygen assists with lower psi work for thicker mild steel.
7. Adjust the power settings as needed
Apply too much heat, and you’ll leave burn marks on your material. You must find the right power for a laser to pierce mild steel. For a good rule of thumb, less heat works best.
Instead of setting the default at 100%, determine the lowest power setting that can still pierce the material. It will also help you prevent marking on the backside of the steel.
Rotary Cutting from Australia’s Finest Sheetmetal Fabrication Company
Hobbyists are quickly adopting rotary laser cutting techniques for their immense creative potential. For one, it allows you to cut 3D shapes as swiftly and accurately as you would flat materials.
Our metal laser cutting solutions at KNS Metals make use of advanced technology like:
- Edge detection
- NC Pressure Control
- Precitec Autofocus cutting head
- Automatic pallet changer
- Siemens 840D CNC control system
KNS Metals uses the latest technologies for precision metal fabrication, making us one of the leading laser cutting companies in Melbourne.