Laser cutting of carbon steel is extensively used across a range of industries, due to its advantage of high speed, low kerf and high quality. Currently, a 1-kW carbon dioxide (CO2) laser with its subsonic nozzle assembly can be used only to cut steel plates up to around 10 mm. This paper aims to design and evaluate a high-pressure supersonic laser cutting nozzle assembly, which can enable a 1-kW CO2 laser to cut steel of up to 50 mm thickness. Basic gas dynamic and compressible flow equations were used to design the supersonic nozzle assembly. The flow of the high-pressure gas jet inside the nozzle assembly was investigated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and the structural integrity of the high-pressure nozzle assembly was ensured using finite element analysis (FEA). The gas flow pattern at the exit of the nozzle assembly was computed and compared with the experimental observation made through a shadowgraph technique. Laser cutting experiments were performed with the developed supersonic nozzle assembly to demonstrate cutting of 50-mm-thick low carbon steel with 1-kW CO2 laser.
The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 15, 2017
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