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Cutting silver plates with laser


#1

I am trying to cut Sterling Silver plates (0.40mm thick) on my laser
engraver, I have a Laserstar 20W machine.

The LASER does cuts the metal, but the cut pcs are not coming off
easily, the burs( molten metal) is not allowing it to comeout easily.
Well my pcs are fine intricate filigrees. so I am forced to use fine
pointed tool to remove the cut metal elements from the sheet, this is
a painful and a time consuming job.

Has anyone tried this OR can guide me for easy removal of the cut
parts.

Many thanks in advance.
Dinesh


#2

Your problem is, the laser your using isnt designed as a cutting
tool. Google for plasma cutting and laser profiling. the principle
you need to go for is a laser torch that has a gas nozzle included in
it, so you heat with the laser and when the metal is molten the gas,
blows away the liquid. I sub contract a lot of laser profiling in
stainless 316, steel and even brass. Wether you can adapt your torch
to gas profiling only you will know your engineering abilities. It
looks to me a total torch rebuild, with a gas supply under pressure
either compressed air, oxygen or nitrogen.


#3

Hi Dinesh,

The 20watt laser is definitely on the lower end of useable power for
cutting the material, but it sounds like you should try a wider kerf,
like around .010" (.25mm) and use more passes at lower power to get
through. This will reduce the amount of molten metal and allow a
cleaner cut. It’s true that cutting lasers do have an assist gas
that jets through a tiny nozzle to help blow out molten material, but
I am able to get through normal thickness titanium rings with a galvo
head and enough passes on an 80 watt machine. The YAG or fiber lasers
ablate the material rather than melting it, so power density has to
be high. Your normal kerf would be around .001" if you don’t do
anything to widen it. The trick is getting the kerf wide enough so
that the conical beam isn’t blocked by the side walls that the cut
creates. This will lower the power considerably and allow melting to
occur.

Bruce Boone
boonerings.com