Aluminum plate cutting is often encountered in metal cutting projects. Many customers will ask whether fiber laser cutting machines can cut aluminum plates? This is because aluminum is a highly reflective metal material and has low laser absorption, so cutting aluminum has always been a problem for fiber laser cutting machines. But this is not to say that it cannot be done. With some professional knowledge and skills, it can help you to be more successful in aluminum cutting.
Why is aluminum harder to cut?
When you project light onto a reflective material, it bounces back or scatters. So when the light of a laser beam makes contact with aluminum, the tendency is for it to bounce or scatter as well. This can make laser cutting difficult.
Solid and stable molecular structures are easier to cut through than softer ones. Because aluminum’s molecular structure is more malleable, the laser beam is not as effective at piercing through it and creating clean cuts.
All of these are the reasons why laser cutting aluminum is difficult, but it does not mean that we can't do it. ACCTEK aluminum fiber laser cutting machine adopts IPG laser source with has international advanced laser technology, which can cut various metal materials, including aluminum, with high efficiency and high precision.
While it is reflective and soft, aluminum can still be cut with a fiber laser. High-speed laser beams make it possible to cut various alloys of aluminum, including aerospace and marine-grade aluminum alloys. So what aspects should be paid attention to in the process of cutting aluminum?
1. The processing needs to focus on the control process, because aluminum materials are not resistant to high temperatures. Compared with ordinary metal materials, the cutting process is more difficult to grasp, and burrs are prone to appear in the process of cutting aluminum materials.
2. The laser cutting speed also needs to be controlled. With aluminum, too slow cutting speed will cause cracks in the aluminum material, which will affect the cutting quality. The faster you cut, the smoother the edge will be. That’s also why higher wattage lasers will perform better when cutting aluminum. They allow you to push the kerf line faster.
3. You need to pay attention to high pressure and auxiliary gas when cutting aluminum sheet with aluminum laser cutting machine. Nitrogen is a better choice. These two combined will effectively eject any molten material quickly, preventing the buildup of a rough edge.
Characteristics of laser cutting aluminum plate
1. Fine cutting seam: the cutting seam of laser cutting aluminum plate is generally 0.1mm-0.2mm.
2. Smooth cutting surface: there is no burr and slag on the cutting surface of laser cutting aluminum plate.
3. Small thermal deformation: the slit is thin, the speed is fast, and the energy is concentrated, so the heat transferred to the cut material is small, and the deformation of the material is also very small.
4. Material saving: laser processing uses computer programming, laser equipment can be different shapes of aluminum plate processing parts for material cutting, improve the material utilization of aluminum plate, save a lot of material cost.
5. How thick the aluminum plate can be cut depends on the power of the laser generator. Generally, the maximum thickness of 6000W can be cut to 14mm and normal thickness can be cut to 12mm; the maximum thickness of 4000W can be cut to 10mm and normal thickness can be cut to 8mm.
In general, the fiber laser cutting machine can cut aluminum, but the processing technology should be adjusted patiently and the cutting speed should be paid attention to. Since aluminum is a highly reflective material, it will damage the laser greatly, so it is recommended to use it as little as possible.
Before you choose the right metal cutting equipment, you can tell us your cutting material, cutting thickness, and cutting area, and we will provide you with effective suggestions.