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Aluminum Cutting?

Aluminum Cutting?

(OP)
hi, now my LC2415 A# NT laser is fully operational thanks to the help of @laserninja and @foostrap, I already start cutting mild steel and stainless.

quick question, why I cannot cut in aluminum 1mm thick, and I even can't pierce it! I use different method already, ( changing the focal lens, change the nozzle I even use double nozzle, then the different cutting condition, I even reach full power, and wont even etch?)

did I missing something? or problem with parameter? I been working on this for the past 3 days and it really hard to understand why?.

thanks, any input might help, and appreciated.

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

Check your focus, you will probably never actually etch 1mm Ali on that machine, you will burn the optics & bellows from beam reflections.
Use the shortest focus lens you have.
the beam will bounce straight off the sheet if the focus is out too far.
Pierce the sheet at pressure 0.2mpa & cut at 0.8mpa, 2mm Nozzle


RE: Aluminum Cutting?

Correct, we use 3.75" for most our thin material, but 5" works well too.
Try pierce Pwr 3600, Freq 50, Duty 80, pressure 0.2,

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

(OP)
hi, ausman
thanks I will try it now,

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

(OP)
hi again,
It didn't work, it did not pierce the aluminum, no matter how i played the condition,

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

Need more information, what's the background on the problem?
Is the problem new, has the machine just been put in, are you a new operator?
can you cut MS & SS ok?
What can you tell me.
Ta

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

(OP)
sure ausman, the problem is just that i cant cut to aluminum, and yes i can cut SS and MS cleanly, actually im not new at laser amada, i begin operating since 2002 til 2006 then continue at 2008 until now, i have a few minor knowledge in troubleshooting, last month i just change my IF Board, replace my sensor power and PSU,and i du also the alignment of the bend mirror only, i also change the oil for VPump and Turbo Blower, some minor staff, this problem is new for me, but when i came here at this company, i able to cut aluminum way back 2008, but since we don't usually do aluminum, only now due to a project came in, i make sample 50x50mm square sample for getting the right condition for ss and MS. only this aluminum that i cant understand sir,

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

Check your focus again, on your other post the B Axis travel when you run your focus program seems too large.
If your focus program only did 10 cuts and you start at B5.0 & ended at B15.0 that's incrementing
1mm per slit. It really needs to be 0.2mm per slit.(you might be a couple of mm out)
not sure if it makes a difference on your machine, did you check that the aluminium setting is on in the cutting data page?

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

In the cut conditions you posted it shows an initial frequency for piercing of zero. Zero is not a valid value for frequency so I don't know exactly what that will do, but that needs to be corrected to start with. Since the duty cycle it set to 100% the frequency is not that important, but does need to be set to a valid value. If I remember correctly valid values are between 5 and 2000. Try 1500 and see how it works. Regarding Ausman's comment on focus, it may need to be tweaked, but if you can cut both SS and mild steel well it should not be off far enough to prevent you from piercing this thin alum although proper calibration of focus position is absolutly critical to getting to and maintaining proper cutting results. The numbers for cutting look a little off to me as well, but lets get it to pierce and see what happens. What wattage is your resonator (?3000?) and is your cutting feed rate inches per minute or millimeters per minute?

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

If you really want to test it change the M102 line to stainless so act as if you cutting stainless because they are so close to the same setup it should at least pierce. If you can get the Aluminum to cut under stainless condition you have something setup wrong in the aluminum cut condition.

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

What is gas selection 3 on your machine? Oxygen, Nitrogen, Air?
Normally 1mm alu will pierce with no problem with nitrogen. But since you have trouble, maybe try to pierce with oxygen. Oxygen will give you added energy to pierce through.
Also, what is the unit of the gas pressure in your parameters?
If the speed is 500 inches/min, that is probably too fast at 2000W. Try full power.
If the speed is 500mm/min, that is way too slow. It should at least cut through, even if you didn't have a good piercing.
Using a stainless cut conditions as suggested by jjl1210 is a good idea. That'll narrow it down a bit.

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

(OP)
hi everyone thanks for the input,

hi ausman,
my focus did 21 cuts that start at B5.0 then B5.5, B6.0 and so on, end at B21.0, and yes i did check the cutting data in amada.

hi SGAFFNEY,
yes i did make it zero and i also try 2500, 2000, 1500, 1000, 500, 200, 100 and down to zero, i already played it but seem its not working at all, my resonator is C3000D and my feed rate is mm/m. and i absolutely agree that if i can cut at MS and SS it should be easy to a thin alum, right?

hi, jjl1210
i did try cutting the alum in Stainless cut condition, it did nothing, its the same it did not pierce at all, i try in 1mm, 1.5mm and 2mm cut condition for stainless.

hi, Foostrap
i already try the 4 for nitrogen, 1,2,3, for oxygen and 5 for air, the unit of gas pressure at piercing is 0.2Mpa and 0.80 Mpa for cutting, and i did intentionally reduce the speed to 500 mm/m so that i can see if it will penetrate i also try making the Pwr at 3000, but seem I'm out of luck

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

When you used the SS settings did you test cut an SS part then immediately try the same on a piece of aluminium without changing anything?


RE: Aluminum Cutting?

(OP)
yes, i did cut the stainless without changing anything, and the cut for stainless does not change,

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

Strange, I will ask a bunch more questions

Did you see any evidence that the beam is actually coming our of the head and bouncing off the surface?
Silly question, is your lens upside down?
Are you using a single point nozzle?
Can you please test again with a nozzle gap of 2.0mm
Are you getting a burr free edge on SS?

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

(OP)
i know right? yes, i can see the beam coming out, and if I'm not mistaken the focal lens with the curve like humps was on the top inside the lens holder, this is what you mean upside down right? and yes, I'm using single point 2mm nozzle, I'm getting a burr like it can be remove by touch and it just need a little adjustment since in MS there is no trace of any burr or dross, when i cut it,

and heres new progress, i able to pierce it and cut a little, maybe around 10mm, then the beam bounce back again, and i try it 5 times it has the same result.

heres the condition:

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

Correct convex come at the top.
with the sot burr adjust your focus up 0.3mm then test cut, if it improves adjust it another 0.3mm & keep doing so until either it gets works or the cut is acceptable.
If you still have the reflection problem then try & watch your power meter & see if the power is dropping off when cutting.

Are you able to cut SS all day without issues?


RE: Aluminum Cutting?

I see a few things I don't like first of all I pierce and cut with the same gas kind because if you don't purge the line between the two you will have issues. The nozzle gap on the pierce is way low it should be close to 1.5 so you don't wreck the lens.

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

(OP)
yes, I have no problem cutting ss and MS everyday, and I will try what you suggest, hope it works, thanks ill up you after the test.

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

One more thing, any chance the have the lens focal length mixed up?
In other words could you have the 7.5" in the head instead of the 5".
Check it please.

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

(OP)
no sir, because all my focal lens is new, and I installed it carefully knowing the effect if mix up, but then I will re-check it to be sure. thanks

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

(OP)
hi, I just check the focal lens, I look up the package of a new spare I have and check and compare the lens in the same height, the 7.5" is clear and you can read the writing on the paper, while the 5" is blurred, the package label this: for 5" ZNSE PO/CX Lens 50.8mmDIA 127mmFL ET=9.65mm AR coated @ 10.6µm and for 7.5" ZNSE PO/CX Lens 50.8mmDIA 190.5mmFL ET=9.652mm AR coated @ 10.6µm

do you think I have the right focal lens? I mean this is a standard for this kind of parts right? I bought this one in II-VI infrared.

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

Something doesn't make sense because if you cut a part from stainless you should be able to cut the aluminum if you use the exact same program and setup. After 19 years that has never not worked you just have to keep everything the same otherwise you will be running in circles trying to fix the problem. Now if you switched lenses and ran the test the only thing changed was the lens so that would tell you it's with the lens maybe mounted upside down.

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

What type of aluminum are you trying to cut? Is it regular 6061 or 5052? Do you have another thickness of aluminum you can try?

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

(OP)
I know its odd, because I'm operating the laser for so many years, and this is the first, i can fix minor troubleshooting, but this one? i really don't know what to do, i open up my lens to make sure its not upside down, but it installed correctly,

i believe that I'm using aluminum P1020, do you think this change everything? and I'm only trying it on 1mm

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

On your cut condition page conditions 1 - 9 nozzle gap should be .5mm you don't want to change from one condition to the next. Did you try a focus of -.02?

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

"i believe that I'm using aluminum P1020, do you think this change everything? and I'm only trying it on 1mm"

YES! This does change everything. P1020 is basicly pure aluminum and will always give you problems. It looks to be the american equivalent of 1100. It is not like an alloyed 5052 or 6061. I had problems with this around 20 years ago but do not remember the results. I will look back in my files and see if I can find anything to help and reply again, but this might prompt someone else as well. You may have to coat the surface of the material with something to help prevent reflection.

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

Exactly; 5000 or 6000 series aluminum will cut with no problem. 3000 series gets harder; you can cut it but much slower. 1000 series, very hard; way slower. Try to cut it like copper; using high pressure oxygen. Watch for your lens cracking due to excess back reflection.

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

The back reflection will also take out the output coupler.

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

(OP)
hi guys, sorry for late reply i went for a short leave and i just got back, regarding the alum, i will try to get 5052 or 6061 alum alloy, and test it, really guys thank you very much, i understand why i cant cut because of the material,

if there's any or alternative way you can help me to cut this P1020 its very appreciated, due to our client required this kind of material.

again thank you very much to all of you, for your inputs and expertise, thumbs up!

RE: Aluminum Cutting?

vladz21,
If you can get you hands on a 3.75" lens you should try that, we have cut 1050 aluminium with pretty much the same settings as 5005 & did not have any of the issues you are seeing.
Order the lens holder from Amada, about $300 or machine up a threaded spacer to lengthen the 5" lens holder.
Because the focus point is so much smaller & beam intensity is more you might find the same results as we had.


RE: Aluminum Cutting?

(OP)
hi ausman,
that's great! maybe I will order 3.5" because its also very hard to find 5052 and 6061 here in SAudi arabia, the only available I think is 6063 and still looking at the market. thanks ausman I will try that too.

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