Industrial applications of CO2 laser cutting
The world's first CO2 laser cutting machine was born in the 1970s. For more than 30 years, due to the continuous expansion of the application field, the CO2 laser cutting machine has been continuously improved. At present, many companies at home and abroad are engaged in the production of various CO2 laser cutting machines to meet the needs of the market. Space curve cutting machine, pipe cutting machine, etc. Well-known foreign companies include Trumpf in Germany, Prima in Italy, Bystronic in Switzerland, Amada in Japan, MAZAK, NTC, and HG Laser Lab in Australia.At present, domestic companies that can provide flatbed cutting machines include Shanghai Tuanjie Prima Company, Shenyang Prima Company, Jinan Jiemai Company, Wuhan Chutian Company and so on. According to the statistics of the 2000 annual report of "Industrial LaserSolution", the authoritative magazine for the application of laser industry in the United States, the total number of laser cutting systems (mainly CO2 laser cutting systems) sold in the world in 1999 was 3325, with a total of 1.174 billion US dollars.According to incomplete statistics, my country currently produces nearly 100 CO2 laser cutting machines each year, with a total of 150 million yuan. Although the development trend of laser cutting is relatively fast, the application level is far behind compared with developed countries. As of 2003, the total number of CO2 laser cutting systems used in industrial production in my country has reached about 500, accounting for about 1.5% of the total number of operating systems in the world.
The purchase of CO2 laser cutting processing system is mainly of two types
Unit: The first category is large and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises. Among the products produced by these enterprises, a large number of plates need to be blanked and cut, and they have strong economic and technical strength;
Another type of unit is a processing station (called Job Shop abroad). The processing station specializes in undertaking laser processing business and does not have its own leading products. On the one hand, its existence can meet the processing needs of some small and medium-sized enterprises; on the other hand, it plays a role of publicity and demonstration in the promotion and application of laser cutting technology in the early stage. In 1999, there were 2,700 laser processing stations nationwide in the United States, of which 51% were engaged in laser cutting. In the 1980s, my country's laser processing stations were mainly engaged in laser heat treatment. After the 1990s, laser cutting and attack stations gradually increased.On this basis, with the deepening of my country's large and medium-sized enterprise system reform and the enhancement of economic strength, more and more enterprises will adopt CO2 laser cutting technology. From the current domestic application analysis, CO2 laser cutting is widely used in 12mm-thick low-carbon steel plates; 6mm-thick stainless steel plates and 20mm-thick non-metallic materials. For the cutting of three-dimensional space curves, it has also begun to be applied in the automotive and aerospace industries. At present, the products suitable for CO2 laser cutting can be roughly classified into three categories:
The first category: sheet metal parts that are not suitable for manufacturing molds from a technical and economic point of view, especially those with complex contour shapes, small batch sizes, and general thickness; 12mm low carbon steel; 6mm thick stainless steel to save the cost and cycle of manufacturing molds . Typical products that have been used include: automatic elevator structural parts, elevator panels, machine and grain machinery covers, various electrical cabinets, switch cabinets, textile machinery parts, construction machinery structural parts, large electric motors, silicon steel sheets, etc.
The second category: stainless steel (general thickness 3mm) or non-metallic materials (general thickness 20mm) used in decoration, advertising, and service industries, patterns, signs, fonts, etc. Such as the patterns of art photo albums, the signs of companies, units, hotels, and shopping malls, the Chinese and English fonts of stations, docks, and public places.
The third category: special parts that require uniform slitting. The most widely used typical part is the die-cutting plate used in the packaging and printing industry. It requires cutting a groove with a seam width of 0.7 to 0.8 mm on a 20mm thick wooden template, and then inserting a blade in the groove. Use fashion on a die-cutting machine to cut out various packaging boxes with printed graphics. A new field of domestic application in recent years is oil screen pipes. In order to prevent mud and sand from entering the oil pump, a uniform cut with a width of 0.3mm is cut on an alloy steel pipe with a wall thickness of 6-9mm. The diameter of the small hole at the starting point of the perforation cannot be 0.3mm. The cutting technology is difficult, and there are many units. Put into production.
In addition to the above-mentioned applications, foreign countries are still expanding their application fields.
（1）Use a three-dimensional laser cutting processing system or configure an industrial robot to cut the space curve, and develop a variety of three-dimensional cutting software to speed up the process from drawing to cutting parts.
（2）In order to improve production efficiency, research and development of various special cutting systems, material conveying systems, linear motor drive systems, etc. The current cutting speed of the cutting system has exceeded 100m/min.
（3）In order to expand the application of engineering machinery, shipbuilding industry, etc., the thickness of cutting low-carbon steel has exceeded 30mm, and special attention has been paid to the research on the process technology of cutting low-carbon steel with nitrogen to improve the cutting quality of cutting thick plates. Therefore, expanding the industrial application field of CO2 laser cutting in our country and solving some technical problems in new applications are still important topics for engineers and technicians.