24 September 1998 Laser cutting: industrial relevance, process optimization, and laser safety
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Compared to other technological relevant laser machining processes, up to now laser cutting is the application most frequently used. With respect to the large amount of possible fields of application and the variety of different materials that can be machined, this technology has reached a stable position within the world market of material processing. Reachable machining quality for laser beam cutting is influenced by various laser and process parameters. Process integrated quality techniques have to be applied to ensure high-quality products and a cost effective use of the laser manufacturing plant. Therefore, rugged and versatile online process monitoring techniques at an affordable price would be desirable. Methods for the characterization of single plant components (e.g. laser source and optical path) have to be substituted by an omnivalent control system, capable of process data acquisition and analysis as well as the automatic adaptation of machining and laser parameters to changes in process and ambient conditions. At the Laser Zentrum Hannover eV, locally highly resolved thermographic measurements of the temperature distribution within the processing zone using cost effective measuring devices are performed. Characteristic values for cutting quality and plunge control as well as for the optimization of the surface roughness at the cutting edges can be deducted from the spatial distribution of the temperature field and the measured temperature gradients. Main influencing parameters on the temperature characteristic within the cutting zone are the laser beam intensity and pulse duration in pulse operation mode. For continuous operation mode, the temperature distribution is mainly determined by the laser output power related to the cutting velocity. With higher cutting velocities temperatures at the cutting front increase, reaching their maximum at the optimum cutting velocity. Here absorption of the incident laser radiation is drastically increased due to the angle between the normal of the cutting front and the laser beam axis. Beneath process optimization and control further work is focused on the characterization of particulate and gaseous laser generated air contaminants and adequate safety precautions like exhaust and filter systems.
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Heinz Haferkamp, Heinz Haferkamp, Martin Goede, Martin Goede, Alexander von Busse, Alexander von Busse, Oliver Thuerk, Oliver Thuerk, "Laser cutting: industrial relevance, process optimization, and laser safety", Proc. SPIE 3414, Opto-Contact: Workshop on Technology Transfers, Start-Up Opportunities,and Strategic Alliances, (24 September 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.323544; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.323544

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