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Cleaning up laser burn marks

Cleaning up laser burn marks

Cleaning up laser burn marks

I am having some parts cut by a local laser cutter and would like to clean up the burn around the edges on the bottom of the parts. The parts are used in a consumer product so the appearances kind of matter. The material is 0.020" 1/2 hard 301 stainless which has been a challenge to cut mostly due to warping problems. I've found a way to get smooth edges but there is still a residual burn around the edge of the part. Anyone have recommendations on how to effectively remove the burn? I'd be interested in manual, labor intensive cheap methods to some kind of mechanized method. I used a vibratory tumbler to smooth out the edges, perhaps some other media in there would work?

Thanks for the help.

RE: Cleaning up laser burn marks

I had a lot of parts laser-cut from .07" and .1" thick stainless and 6Mo. All were delivered clean and shiny, but magnification revealed a HAZ about .005" wide, maybe a bit less. We didn't realize the HAZ was there until, after one of our welders had finished fabricating a huge expensive assembly, he reported that it 'welded funny'. I asked him to, in future, report any funny welding before completing the job.

After that, we were careful to remove the HAZ by touching the to-be-welded edge to a snag grinder (60 grit is 'fine' in that shop), and the parts welded 'not funny' thereafter.

Subsequently, we partnered with a waterjet cutter, who delivered our parts with no HAZ, but covered all over with fine abrasive grit. Those parts welded okay after washing them.

You might try waterjet cutting your parts. I'd expect some distortion unless you back them up with sacrificial plywood or something similar.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Cleaning up laser burn marks

The "funny welding" could make a guy nervous!

Did the assembly turn out ok, or did you see problems with it?
I have seen laser cut stainless edges get rusty when the remainder of the piece was fine.
But that was back when we were cutting stainless with Oxygen.


Jay Maechtlen

RE: Cleaning up laser burn marks

The workpiece was a mirror polished jacketed 13" inside dia J-shaped gas turbine exhaust for a gofast boat. The welds looked like crap and the builder is real fussy.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

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