Laser Cutting Issues in Sheet Metal Cutting

Technical issues during laser cutting processes are frustrating. We often don’t want to face this type of situation. Yet, If we face this type of situation, we are in great need of technicians. If you know what you are facing and how to solve that situation, you would love to solve those issues.

This article will demonstrate all the possible laser cutting issues during sheet metal cutting. In addition, this article will also explain the possible solutions for all types of laser cutting issues. Today’s “Laser cutting issues in sheet metal cutting” will be a great handy piece when you face these laser cutting issues.

The most popular laser cutting issues in the sheet metal cutting process

There are multiple types of laser cutting issues that your CNC laser cutter operator may encounter. Depending on the seriousness of the case, we have categorized them into nine primary points. We will introduce the type of case and the possible solution for the issue below.

Ineffective Cutting

Most operators might face difficulties during laser cutting for different types of materials. Material composition, style, and quality highly affect laser cutting performances. Ineffective cutting is the most common laser cutting issue that our CNC laser cutter operators may face due to the material thickness or dross-clinging materials. Dross-clinging materials usually raise the temperature during laser cutting.

What should you know about material types and composition during laser cutting?

Material types and composition highly affect laser cutting quality and performance. The following are common phenomena.

  1. Consistency of the material, such as if the material is oily or dirty, then laser cutting will be ineffective.
  2. The more complex part is, the more ineffective cut will be.
  3. The higher conductive metal makes cutting inefficient.
  4. Material thickness increases thermal runaways.

Solution: First, ensure the projected material is clean and oil-free. And then, make use of assist gas. Assist gas helps in blowing the molten metal in combustion. Third, learn how to provide an efficient energy pass to ensure an efficient cutting.

Lazy setup and Cutting Time

The laser cutting process on unfamiliar materials might take a long time. Conversely, the CNC laser cutter might take time to set up too. Both cases extend the time of laser cutting. These laser cutting issues might happen due to nozzle size, focal length adjustment, rated power, pressure, speed, and assist gas.

Solution: Therefore, during maintenance, it is necessary to check all the essential equipment of your laser cutting machine. On the other hand, you must check the focal length, rated power, and nozzle size before every laser cutting operation. If the setup time remains slow, you should find our technician to solve the problem. Otherwise, later, this lazy setup and cutting time might be worse.

Distortion Effect

HAZ is an essential term in laser cutting technology which means heat-affected zone. As the name implies, the particular place where the temperature rises above the critical point produces distortion. The laser cutting process creates more stress in metal than other cutting methods, such as plasma cutting or waterjet cutting.

Distortion is a common phenomenon, especially in cutting thin sheet metals. Laser cutting easily distorts lighter materials as the recast layer creates at the edge. On the other hand, distortion is also familiar in the rapid solidification of the cutting area.

Solution: Using the water quenching technique during the laser cutting process will help eliminate distortion effects. HiSpeed Laser cutter already has the water quenching system to the nozzle to continuously supply water at the cutting zone.

Sheet Metal Perforation Difficulty

Perforated metal has a pattern of holes of various shapes. This type of sheet metal is widely popular in industrial packaging. The most popular sheet metals include aluminum and stainless steel. Making perforation holes is mainly for ventilation to the inside items.

Two types of perforations are used in making these holes: pulse perforation and blast perforation.

Pulse perforation uses high power pick to melt down a small material. In this method, oxygen or nitrogen gas is an auxiliary gas for hole perforation.

On the other hand, blast perforation radiates a continuous laser beam to create a pit. Sometimes while working with a CNC laser cutter, the diameter of the holes becomes smaller. In this case, the size of the hole depends on the thickness of the sheet metal.

Solution: The best solution is to control the laser beam at a specific power range, time, and space. HiSpeed laser cutters technology is advanced. Our customers rely on their machines and are getting high-quality incisions.

Insufficient Engraving depth

This laser cutting issue is the most common while working with a CNC laser cutter. In specific, inexperienced operators face this issue the most. Insufficient cutting might happen due to power setting or the reversely installed focus length. Besides, inadequate engraving depth might occur due to the turned-down potentiometer or voltage problem. Other reasons behind this issue include a dirty lens, inappropriate laser tube power, or high water temperature.

Solution: Follow the proper laser cutting starting formalities. Adjust the critical focal point and replace the laser tube if it fails to start. If the power supply is low, replace it. In most cases, Overspeed creates insufficient cutting. Therefore, try to maintain an appropriate cutting speed.

Burr Problem

A buzzing sound is sometimes so annoying. Unnecessary sound in technical instruments determines the technical difficulties of that machine. In the laser cutting process, a burring sound while projecting the laser beam on the material is often familiar in most cases.

If you consider a list of reasons, the wrong focal length adjustment is the primary reason behind this problem. Another reason might be the laser cutting speed; over speed makes a usual burr sound. Besides, unusual output power and long-time use of the machine also create the burring sound.

Solution: Adjust the focal length as per the requirement, and it is mandatory to check it before every operation. Maintain an appropriate laser cutting speed; make it slow if the material is thicker. If the output power is unusual, check the power supply, and changing it will solve the issue. Finally, regularly, monthly or yearly maintenance is necessary to keep every machine part workable.

Abnormal Sparks

Unusual sparks during laser cutting have an impact on the cutting’s quality. Sparks on the metal’s surface typically cause roughness. When dealing with mild steel, these unusual sparks are frequent. The outdated laser nozzle may be the leading cause of this issue. The nozzle loses its previous ability as a result of regular use.

If you’ve already changed the nozzle, the new replacement nozzle might be the reason for the sparks. However, if you’ve previously changed the nozzle and are still having issues, the gas pressure is the only thing to blame.

Solution: First, replace the nozzle. If you face the same problem again, increasing the gas pressure will solve the problem immediately.

Oxygen purity and pressure problem

Operating CO2 or Fiber laser cutter equipment needs oxygen and nitrogen gasses. Usually, oxygen reacts with the metal and makes an exothermic reaction, ensuring good sheet metal cutting efficiency. In this case, the purity of the oxygen is essential because it has a vital role in making a good cut.

However, according to the experts, if the purity of the oxygen decreases by 0.9%, the rate of combustion decreases by 10%. On the other hand, if the purity decreases by 5%, the combustion rate decreases by 37%, which is a big deal for every operator.

Solution: Taper nozzle might be the best solution to overcome this laser cutting issue. In addition, adding preheating flame and auxiliary oxygen flow can solve this issue immediately.

Small hole deformation

This laser cutting issue is a malfunctioned state of the pulse perforation process on sheet metals. Generally, a single laser beam in the pulse perforation process makes a small hole on the sheet metal.

In contrast, a high-power laser concentrated beam creates a deformed hole that is excessively larger than the formally created holes due to technical difficulties. This type of issue is often found in making perforated sheet metals.

Solutions: The most common solution to this problem is shifting the pulse perforation process to blast perforation. According the blast perforation process, it radiates a continuous laser beam to create a pit. However, on the other hand, if you are using low-power laser cutter, try to follow the adopting hole processing technique to get the best surface finishing result.

Final Thought

We have introduced the most prevalent problems you may find during sheet metal laser cutting. We have also mentioned the possible solutions for each of the issues. Other than these, if you still face problems using a HiSpeed laser cutter or laser engraver, feel free to inform our laser experts.

HiSpeed Lasers have a team of the best laser experts waiting to solve your problems. Any type of query is welcome. However, HiSpeed Laser is equipped with the latest technology in production to manufacture the best quality laser cutter, laser engraver, and laser marking machines. These machines go through many tests to determine whether our machines work perfectly.

Above all, we recommend correctly maintaining this equipment will ensure a better life. When you purchase our laser machines, we usually introduce our customer to all the formalities he should do with his laser cutter. If you can follow all those steps, you can assure your machine will work fine for life-long.

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