How to improve the cut quality with solid state lasers - modification of the beam distribution and its effects

How to improve the cut quality with solid state lasers - modification of the beam distribution and its effects

M. Kogel-Hollacher

Abstract:

Since the beam quality of 1µm beam sources reached an interesting value for laser cutting of various materials and thicknesses the known and commonly accepted cut-ting quality reached with CO2 lasers was compared to those achieved with the new sources. The soon upcoming quality variations started the scientific discussion on beam material interaction and fundamental work on improving the cut quality using the solid state lasers.

Fortunately the well-known experts in laser cutting took over the lead in the discussions and started the simulation of the coherences of the laser cutting process with 1µm radiation with high brightness. These findings were shared intensively on conferences and workshops. One of the possible attempts to improve the cut quality is the modification of the wave front. A ring profile at the workpiece surface in combination with special gas nozzles proved to be a solution able to bring down the roughness on the cutting kerf, comparable to the quality gained with CO2 lasers.

The first industrial solution with a modified intensity distribution was presented by AMADA Company, the Amada ENSIS-3015, followed by TRUMPF BrightLine and Corelase ARM. All these attempts have in common, that the variation of the intensity distribution is based on the modification of the fiber coupling. For sure, this solution is achievable for companies which supply the laser source and the optical fiber.

The way Precitec as equipment supplier react on the situation is providing the All-In-Light technology to the market. All-In-Light is a bundle consisting of a disk laser with laser light cable and cutting head. There is a special option exclusively available for the All-In-Light bundle called EdgeTec, which enables the customer to cut thin or thick sheets with high quality just by changing the beam distribution with respect to the material thickness.