Laser Cutting Machine
Air Compressor for Laser Cutting Machine
Laser cutting machines are in high demand all over the world. They can cut material in the most precise, fastest, and most efficient way possible. As a result, various domestic and industrial applications are unlocked.
Initially, these laser cutters were expensive to use and maintain. Also, they are not very efficient. This has forced laser cutter manufacturers and engineers to develop innovative ideas to improve results and reduce costs.
This is where the idea of using air assist comes in, which requires an air compressor to work.
Thus, the high usage and maintenance costs of laser cutting, the growing demand for its machines, and its reliance on compressed air allow air compressor manufacturers to tailor their products to meet demanding requirements, thereby reducing costs and increasing cutting efficiency.
Although air-assisted laser cutters come in all types and sizes, they all require a pressurized air source to operate.
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Importance Of An Air Compressor for Laser Cutting Machine
To understand the importance of air compressors in laser cutting, you must understand how laser cutting works.
The process starts with a laser beam that penetrates boiling material by liquefying or melting, causing residue to build up around the burning part.
This is where an air compressor is needed. A source of compressed air or other pressurized gas (coaxial to the beam) is simultaneously injected onto the target, creating a jet that expels residual material from the surface. This makes the cutting process fast and leaves smooth, burr-free results.
Compressed air enables laser cutters to cut a wide variety of materials, from lightweight fabrics to harder metals and gemstones, with high precision, accuracy, and consistency.
The operating mechanism generates and stores energy to operate the circuit breaker. Compressed air becomes the energy source for the pneumatic operating mechanism for closing and tripping the high voltage circuit breaker. These pneumatic circuit breakers are called “jet circuit breakers.”
Air compressors store compressed air in an air receiver (air tank). When needed, spray it into the arc chute. This pushes away the moving contacts. As a result, the connection is pulled apart, and the air shocks carry the ionized gas and support the arc extinguishing.
Types Of Pressurized Gas Sources Used In Air Assisted Laser Cutting Machines
To increase the efficiency of the laser cutting process, not all types of gases are used as pressurized gas sources in laser cutting machines. Therefore, the method uses only a few gases:
Using pure oxygen as the pressurized gas source, spraying it from the air compressor to the material’s surface plays three key roles. First, pressurized oxygen pushes residual material from the cut surface. Second, it acts as an oxidant to support the melting process of the metal. Finally, it also increases the rigidity and hardness of the processed material.
Nitrogen is a heavy gas that hinders the oxidation process, so it does not enhance the heat transfer process or increase the heating capacity of the laser cutter. However, it creates a protective layer around the molten metal, which maintains the surface quality. It provides high-quality cutting but increases the power consumption of the air compressor, resulting in high cutting costs. Therefore, it is only used when processing requirements are high or when processing precious metals.
Naturally, the air is 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen. Other gases take up the rest. Therefore, it can be used as a pressurized gas source if it is dried to remove water vapor and filtered to remove unwanted gases or contaminants. These unwanted gases either inhibit oxidative properties, increase the power consumption of the air compressor, or hinder the discharge of molten material due to their low density.
In addition to the laser cutting machine, the air compressor is also essential for oxygen production. These self-contained power generation systems produce pure gas (instead of buying cylinders), which can then be used as a pressurized gas source during the laser cutting process.
Applications of Laser Cutting Machines with Air Compressors
Introducing air compressors in laser cutting machines opens the door to numerous industrial applications. Here are some common ones:
Metal Sheet Cutting
Before laser cutting, it was nearly impossible to cut sheet metal into the desired shape. Computerized laser cutters with air compressors can instantly machine sheet metal (including steel, aluminum, metal, tungsten, and nickel) into any desired shape with clean cuts and smooth surfaces. These shapes can be used in building structures, aircraft and machine parts.
In addition to logo cutting, air-assisted laser cutters can also engrave and cut plastics for other purposes. While plastic cutting can be done by various other methods, high-quality results can be achieved quickly with laser cutting.
Naturally, air is 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen. Other gases take up the rest. Therefore, it can be used as a pressurized gas source if it is dried to remove water vapor and filtered to remove unwanted gases or contaminants. These unwanted gases either inhibit oxidative properties, increase the power consumption of the air compressor, or hinder the discharge of molten material due to their low density.
Glass Cutting and Engraving
Ever wonder how these modern rattan glasses, glasses and doors are made with beautiful, smooth, sculpted and detailed designs? All thanks to a laser cutter with an air compressor.
Advantages of Laser Cutting Machines with Air Compressors
Air-Assist Laser Cutting Machines are massively popular due to the following benefits:
Laser cutting is an instant process, further accelerated by a compressed gas blowing mechanism. Thus, enabling the machine to cut any material in less time.
Ability to cut various materials
Thanks to the introduction of an air compressor in laser cutting, you can cut a variety of materials precisely into the shape you want, from the softest fabrics to the hardest gems and metals.
Since the laser beam can reach anywhere on the material at any depth, you can easily create detailed and complex designs on a variety of materials. Results are more precise, smooth and economical thanks to the use of compressed air.
With the air compressor blowing away residue from the cut material, the laser beam can only be focused on the target without wasting material, time, and effort.