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how to choose cutting process

Dec. 27, 2021

There is significant competition in the market between different cutting technologies, whether they are intended for sheet metal, tubes or profiles. Generally speaking, there are two traditional ways, one is mechanical cutting by abrasion and the others prefer thermal methods.

However, with recent breakthroughs in the laser world, there is technological competition taking place between high definition plasma, CO2 laser, and the aforementioned fiber laser. and is commonly used in the field of machining.

how to choose cutting process

Which is the most economical? which is the most accurate? For what kind of thickness of material can be used? Any requirement of the material? In this article, we will explain the characteristics of each, so that we are best able to choose the one that best suits our needs.


1, Waterjet

This is an interesting technology for all those materials that might be affected by heat when performing cold cutting, such as plastics, coatings or cement panels. To increase the power of the cut, an abrasive material may be used that is suitable for working with a steel measuring greater than 300 mm. It can be very useful in this manner for hard materials such as ceramics, stone or glass.

 

2, Plasma

High-definition plasma is close to laser in quality for greater thicknesses, but with a lower purchase cost. It is the most suitable from 5mm and is practically unbeatable from 30mm, where the laser is not able to reach, with the capacity to reach up to 90mm in thickness in carbon steel, and 160mm in stainless steel. Without a doubt, it is a good option for bevel cutting. It can be used with ferrous and non-ferrous, as well as oxidized, painted, or grid materials.

 

3, CO2 Laser

Generally speaking, the laser offers a more precise cutting capability. This is especially the case with lesser thicknesses and when machining small holes. CO2 is suitable for thicknesses between 5mm and 30mm.

 

4, Fiber Laser

Fiber laser is proving itself to be a technology that offers the speed and quality of traditional CO2 laser cutting but for thicknesses less than 5 mm. In addition, it is more economical and efficient in terms of energy usage. As a result, investment, maintenance and operation costs are lower. In addition, the gradual decrease in the price of the machine has been significantly reducing differentiating factors in comparison to plasma. Due to this, an increasing number of manufacturers have begun to embark on the adventure of marketing and manufacturing this type of technology. This technique also offers better performance with reflective materials, including copper and brass. In short, the fiber laser is becoming a leading technology, with an added ecological advantage.


So then, what can we do when we are carrying out production in thickness ranges where several technologies might be suitable? The first thing we must do is to choose the right machining options depending on the thickness and characteristics of the material. The same part will require a specific type of machining that ensures the best use of resources, depending on the technology of the machine where it will be processed, thus achieving the desired cutting quality.


There will be times when a part can only be executed using one of the technologies. Therefore, we will require a system that uses advanced logic to determine the specific manufacturing route. This logic considers factors such as the material, the thickness, the desired quality, or the diameters of the internal holes, analyzes the part that we want to manufacture, including both its physical and geometric properties, and deduces which route is the most suitable to produce it.


As we can see, the cutting specialization and the use of different cutting technologies for each particular case also involves having professional technicians choose the right route. Xu Feng can provide the most frequently use cutting machine-laser cutting, waterjet and plasma we also have rich experience engineers which should always allow us to manufacture with the quality that is needed, in the most economical manner possible, and respecting delivery times.