Comprehensive comparison of metal plate cutting methods

Laser cutting

Laser cutting is to irradiate the workpiece with a focused high-power density laser beam, so that the irradiated material rapidly melts, vaporizes, ablates or reaches the ignition point. open. Fiber lasers are generally used now, and laser cutting is one of the thermal cutting methods.

water cutting

Water cutting, also known as water jet, that is, high pressure water jet cutting technology, is a machine that uses high pressure water flow to cut. The workpiece can be carved arbitrarily under the control of the computer, and it is less affected by the texture of the material. Water cutting is divided into two methods: no-sand cutting and sand-added cutting.

Plasma cutting

Plasma arc cutting is a processing method that uses the heat of a high-temperature plasma arc to locally melt (and evaporate) the metal at the incision of the workpiece, and uses the momentum of high-speed plasma to remove the molten metal to form an incision.

wire cutting

Wire Electrical Discharge Machining (WEDM for short), belongs to the category of electrical processing, Wire cut Electrical Discharge Machining (WEDM), sometimes also known as wire cutting. Wire cutting can be divided into fast wire cutting, medium wire cutting, and slow wire cutting. The wire speed of fast wire EDM wire cutting is 6-12 m/s, and the electrode wire moves back and forth at high speed, and the cutting accuracy is poor. The medium-travel wire EDM is a new technology developed in recent years, which realizes the variable frequency multiple cutting function on the basis of the fast-travel wire cutting. The wire cutting speed of slow wire EDM wire cutting is 0.2m/s, and the electrode wire moves in one direction at a low speed, and the cutting precision is very high.

Application range comparison:

Laser cutting machines have a wide range of applications, both metal and non-metal can be cut, non-metals, such as cloth, leather, etc., can be cut with CO2 laser cutting machines, and metals can be cut with fiber laser cutting machines. Plate deformation is small. Water cutting belongs to cold cutting, no thermal deformation, good quality of cutting surface, no need for secondary processing, and it is easy to perform secondary processing if necessary. Water cutting can punch and cut any material, with fast cutting speed and flexible processing size. Plasma cutting machine can be used for cutting various metal materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, copper, cast iron, carbon steel, etc. Plasma cutting has obvious thermal effect, low precision, and the cutting surface is not easy for secondary processing. Wire cutting can only cut conductive materials, and cutting coolant is required during the cutting process, so it cannot be cut to materials such as paper and leather that are non-conductive, afraid of water, and afraid of cutting coolant pollution.

Comparison of cutting thickness:

  The industrial application of laser cutting carbon steel is generally below 20MM. The cutting capacity is generally below 40MM. The industrial application of stainless steel is generally below 16MM, and the cutting capacity is generally below 25MM. And as the thickness of the workpiece increases, the cutting speed decreases significantly. The thickness of water cutting can be very thick, 0.8-100MM, or even thicker materials. The plasma cutting thickness is 0-120mm, and the best cutting quality range is about 20mm. The plasma system is the most cost-effective. The thickness of wire cutting is generally 40 to 60 mm, and the maximum thickness can reach 600 mm. Cutting speed comparison:

Using a laser with a power of 1200W to cut a 2mm thick low carbon steel plate, the cutting speed can reach 600cm/min; when cutting a 5mm thick polypropylene resin plate, the cutting speed can reach 1200cm/min. The cutting efficiency that WEDM can achieve is generally 20 to 60 square millimeters/min, and the highest is 300 square millimeters/min; obviously, the laser cutting speed is fast and can be used for mass production.

The water cutting speed is quite slow and not suitable for mass production.

Plasma cutting has slow cutting speed and low relative precision, and is more suitable for cutting thick plates, but the end face has a slope.

For metal processing, wire cutting has higher precision, but the speed is very slow. Sometimes it is necessary to use other methods for additional perforation and wire threading to cut, and the cutting size is greatly limited.

Comparison of cutting accuracy:

The laser cutting incision is narrow, the two sides of the incision are parallel and perpendicular to the surface, and the dimensional accuracy of the cut parts can reach ±0.2mm.

Plasma can reach within 1mm;

Water cutting will not produce thermal deformation, and the accuracy is ±0.1mm. If the dynamic water cutting machine is used, the cutting accuracy can be improved, and the cutting accuracy can reach ±0.02mm, eliminating the cutting slope.

The machining accuracy of wire cutting is generally ±0.01 to ±0.02 mm, and the highest is ±0.004 mm.

Cut Kerf width comparison:

Compared with plasma cutting, laser cutting is more precise, and the kerf is small, about 0.5mm.

Plasma cutting kerf is larger than laser cutting, about 1-2mm;

The slit of water cutting is about 10% larger than the diameter of the knife tube, generally 0.8mm-1.2mm. As the diameter of the sand knife tube expands, the incision becomes larger.

The slit width of wire cutting is the smallest, generally around 0.1-0.2mm.

Comparison of cutting surface quality:

The surface roughness of laser cutting is not as good as that of water cutting, and the thicker the material, the more obvious it is.

Water cutting does not change the texture of the material around the cut seam (laser is thermal cutting and will change the texture around the cut area.

Production input cost comparison:

Different types of laser cutting machines have different prices. Cheap ones, such as carbon dioxide laser cutting machines, are only 20,000 to 30,000 yuan, and expensive ones, such as 12,000W fiber laser cutting machines, now cost 1 million. Laser cutting has no consumables, but the equipment investment cost is the highest among all cutting methods, but the cost of laser cutting machines is gradually decreasing, and it is expected to become the mainstream cutting and processing equipment;

Compared with the laser cutting machine, the plasma cutting machine is much cheaper. According to the power and brand of the plasma cutting machine, the price varies, and the use cost is high. Basically, as long as the conductive material can be cut.

The cost of water cutting equipment is second only to laser cutting, with high energy consumption and high maintenance costs. The cutting speed is not as fast as plasma, because all abrasives are one-time use, and they are discharged into nature after one use. The environmental pollution is also more serious.

Wire cutting is generally around tens of thousands of pieces. But wire cutting has consumables, molybdenum wire, cutting coolant, etc. There are two kinds of wires commonly used in wire cutting, one is molybdenum wire (molybdenum is precious ^^), which is used for fast wire equipment, the advantage is that molybdenum wire can be reused many times; Much cheaper), used for slow wire walking equipment, the disadvantage is that the copper wire can only be used once. In addition, the fast wire feeding machine is far cheaper than the slow wire feeding machine. The price of one slow wire feeding machine is equal to 5 or 6 fast wire feeding machines.

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