High Power Laser Cutting for Heavy Industry - POWERCUT

  • Olsen, Flemming Ove (Project Manager)
  • Sørensen, Kirsten Grønning (Project Participant)
  • Nielsen, Jakob Skov (Project Participant)
  • Juhl, Thomas Winther (Project Participant)

    Project Details

    Description

    The cutting of thick sections of steel plate, in the thickness range above 10 mm, is presently mostly done with plasma or flame cutting techniques. While offering the advantages of relatively high productivity and low capital investment, these techniques suffer from poor cutting accuracy. As a result, the joining of such parts by welding often requires gaps of several mm to be filled, which is costly and causes excessive heat input into the product, which, in turn, leads to undue stress, distortion or even rupture. Thus the cost advantage of relatively low cost cutting is lost in the subsequent joining of the parts.
    Cutting of steel plate can be achieved with excellent accuracy by high power CO2-laser cutting. Laser powers of less than 3 kW are ample for the cutting of thin materials, and lasers in that power range, and with good beam quality, have been available as reliable industrial products for at least a decade. The cutting of thick material with reasonable speed requires, however, substantially higher power levels, conceivably in the 10 kW range, and lasers of this kind, and with adequate beam quality, have only recently become commercial items.
    The general mechanisms of laser cutting are reasonably well understood and have been credibly modelled for the case of cutting relatively thin plate materials. It is not known, however, to which extent these results may be transferred to the cutting of thick sections.
    The present project entails research with the goal to extend laser cutting of steel based metals to higher thickness and power with adequate accuracy and economically viable cutting speeds.
    The innovative approach of the project is to develop new types of cutting heads i.e. focussing and gas supply systems for high power laser cutting.
    StatusFinished
    Effective start/end date01/02/199931/01/2002