Nowadays, fiber lasers have become a main energy source in laser cutting because of their highly electro-optical conversion efficiency and high beam quality. However, the amount of dross produced by fiber laser cutting is larger than that by CO2 laser cutting, and postprocessing is required to obtain a flat surface without dross, which leads to increasing the processing cost. If fiber laser achieves dross-free cutting of a steel plate, further expansion of cutting applications can be expected. Therefore, in order to achieve further reduction of dross, the influence of beam intensity distribution on dross height was investigated by fiber laser cutting experiments and ray tracing analysis. The laser cutting experiment of steel plate cold commercial with 3.2 mm thickness was carried out by a 3 kW fiber laser with nitrogen assist gas, and a round Gaussian mode of 114 μm spot diameter and a square top-hat mode of 132 μm were used. The square top-hat mode can achieve smaller dross height below 12 μm, which is approximately half of the round Gaussian mode. Ray tracing analysis revealed that the square top-hat mode increased the uniformity of absorbed energy on the cutting front surface, and the more uniform intensity distribution contributed to a small ellipticity of the cutting front shape of the kerf. It was clarified that the shape of the cutting front with a small ellipticity reduced the amount of molten metal ejected from the side of the kerf, which resulted in the reduction of dross height by the fiber laser cutting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Biomedical Engineering