Even though laser cutting is seen as a highly accurate process, there are many factors that can affect the laser cutting edge quality.
User error and machine faults can contribute to the quality of the cut edge, but we are going to explain the material factors that can impact the end result.
With thinner sheets of metal there is less depth and volume to the material to striations are not created, however this is not the case with thicker metals. Striations are lines that are formed when the molten zone meets the cool zone, and are more pronounced with thick metals consequently compromised the quality of the cutting edge.
Solution – By using a higher powered laser, it is easier to cut through thicker metals and will therefore reduce the appearance of any striations. This will consequently improve the cutting edge quality.
The laser beam will react differently to different metals due to the varied properties and composition they have. The varying level of elements within each metal can have a significant effect on the cut edge quality; carbon, sulphur, phosphorus, manganese, etc. can all play a part.
You should always make sure that the surface of your chosen material is clean and rust and oil-free, so it is consistent and smooth. The rougher the surface, the lower the quality of the edge cut, so if the quality of your surface is high then so will your edge.
Always take into consideration these factors, so you get the best cutting edge quality every time you use your laser cutter. If you use this machine for the majority of your production, it is important to undertake quality control and pay complete attention to detail.