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A Study of the Laser Cutting Process: Influence of Laser Power and Cutting Speed on Cut Quality
O. Keles and U. Oner

In the present study high power CO2 laser cutting of 304 stainless steel sheets was considered and the influence of laser power levels and the cutting speed on the resulting cut quality were examined. The laser cutting quality was assessed through measuring the dross height attachment to the cut edges and the kerf width variation. Optical microscopy was used to measure the geometric features of the cut sections for the quality assessment. It was found that laser power levels had a significant effect on the resulting cut kerf size, with increasing laser power intensity causing an increase in the kerf width size and the sideways burning through thermal erosion. Laser cutting speed was seen to have less of an effect on the kerf width size.

Keywords: CO2 laser, steel, laser cutting, power, cutting speed, thermal erosion

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