This project aims to investigate the effect of varying different laser cutting parameters on the laser cut surface. The parameters that were varied were cutting speed, beam effect, gas pressure and focal point. The statistical method Design of Experiment was used to plan the experiments and two full factorial test plans were set up, one with argon as cooling and protective gas and one with nitrogen. Sheet metal consisting of the superalloy HAYNES ® 282 with a thickness of 2,54 mm was investigated. Samples from the material were cut with different laser cutting parameters according to the test plans. The samples were evaluated by measuring cracks, recast layer thickness, surface irregularity, burr height and distance to beam deflection point on the cut surface. The resulting data was inserted as responses into the statistical program Modde 10.1 for analysis.
Modde 10.1 provided models of high significance for the responses of Recast layer, Tav; Recast layer, Tmax; Burrheight, max and Distance to deflection point for the argon series and Recast layer, Tav and Recast layer, Tmax for the nitrogen series.
The results showed that both recast layer thickness and burr height decreases with increased values of cutting speed, gas pressure and focal point as well as decreased values of beam effect within the parameter window investigated. They also showed that distance to deflection point increased with increasing values of gas pressure and focal point and with decreased values of cutting speed and beam effect within the parameter window.
The results also showed that for the samples cut with argon as cooling and assistant gas the parameters that affects the recast layer thickness the most are focal point and gas pressure, whereas for the nitrogen series it is gas pressure and beam effect. The parameter with greatest effect on burr height is the cutting speed and for the distance to deflection point it is focal point and gas pressure that have the greatest effect.
When comparing the argon and the nitrogen series to each other it can be seen that the argon series generate less recast layer from the entry of the cut until between 60 – 80 % into the cut, after which the argon series bypasses the nitrogen series in amount of recast layer produced in the cutting process in the majority of the places measured.