The difference and contrast between laser cutting, water cutting, plasma cutting and wire cutting

With the development of science and technology, more and more cutting methods, such as: laser cutting, water cutting, plasma cutting, wire cutting … What difference do they have?

 

Listen to an engineer in the field of cutting said:

(1) The current market mainstream fiber lasers, carbon dioxide lasers are slowly eliminated, energy consumption is too high, in the non-metallic field or there is a market.

(2) Now the optical fiber equipment since the laser domestic, in the low power segment price drop very badly.

(3) In addition to other laser cutting methods, on the plasma and wire cutting market demand is relatively large, but the line cutting for the mold industry more, plasma in the thick plate or high precision requirements of the situation is more, waterjet cutting now in the metal industry is not common, in the non-metallic field there are many.

(4) In the future development, in the metal plate is absolutely laser cutting the world, including non-metallic cutting will also be laser cutting occupy a large part of the market.

 

If you have different views, you can speak freely in the message, next we analyze these cutting techniques.

1)Laser cutting process

Light cutting is the use of a focused high-power density laser beam to the workpiece, so that the irradiated material rapidly melting, vaporization, ablation or to reach the ignition point, while the use of high-speed coaxial with the beam to blow the molten material, so as to achieve the workpiece cut open.

CO2 pulsed lasers are now commonly used, and laser cutting is one of the hot cutting methods.

 

2)Water cutting and processing

Water cutting, also known as Waterjet, or high-pressure waterjet cutting technology, is a machine that uses high-pressure water to cut. Under the control of the computer can be arbitrarily carved workpiece, and by the material texture of small impact. Water cutting is divided into sand-free cutting and sand-cutting two ways.

3)Plasma cutting and processing

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

4)Wire cutting Machining

Wire cutting Machining EDM wire Cutting Machine, belongs to the category of electrical processing, wedm (wire cut electrical discharge machining, referred to as WEDM), sometimes called wire cutting. Line cutting can be divided into fast-cut wire cutting, silk cutting, walking thread cutting. Fast walking wire EDM wire cutting speed of 6~12 m/s, electrode wire for high-speed round-trip movement, cutting accuracy is poor. WEDM is a new process in recent years, which realizes the multi-frequency cutting function on the basis of fast-walking wire cutting. Walking wire EDM wire cutting speed of 0.2m/s, electrode wire to do low-speed unidirectional motion, cutting accuracy is very high.

 

①Application Range Comparison

Laser cutting machine has a wide range of applications, regardless of metal, non-metallic, can be cut, cutting non-metallic, such as cloth, leather, etc. can be used CO2 laser cutting machine, cutting metal can be used fiber laser cutting machine.

Plate deformation is small. Water cutting belongs to cold cutting, no thermal deformation, cutting surface quality, no two processing, if necessary and easy to carry out two times processing.

Water cutting can be punched, cut for any material, fast cutting speed, flexible processing size.

Plasma cutting machine can be used in stainless steel, aluminum, copper, cast iron, carbon steel and other metal materials cutting, plasma cutting has obvious thermal effect, low precision, cutting surface is not easy to two times processing. Wire cutting is only cut conductive material, cutting process need to have cutting coolant, so to paper, leather, such as non-conductive, afraid of water, afraid of cutting coolant contamination of the material will not cut.

 

②Cutting thickness comparison

Laser-cut carbon steel in the industrial application is generally less than 20mm. Cutting capacity is generally below 40mm. Stainless steel industrial applications generally under 16mm, cutting capacity is generally below 25mm. And as the workpiece thickness increases, the cutting speed is significantly reduced.

 

The thickness of the water cut can be very thick, 0.8-100mm, or even thicker material.

Plasma cutting thickness 0-120mm, the best cutting quality range thickness in the 20mm or so the most cost-effective system. Wire cutting thickness is generally 40~60mm, the thickest can reach 600mm.

 

③ Cutting thickness comparison

Let show example of 1200W Laser Cutting 2mm thick low carbon steel plate, cutting speed up to 600cm/min, cutting 5mm thick polypropylene resin plate, cutting speed up to 1200cm/min. EDM wire cutting can achieve the cutting efficiency is generally 20~60 square millimeters/min, up to 300 square millimeters/min; Obviously, laser cutting speed is fast, can be used for mass production.

Water cutting speed that is quite slow, not suitable for mass production in bulk.

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

For metal processing, wire cutting has a higher precision, but the speed is very slow, sometimes need to use other methods of perforation, wear silk can be cut, and the cutting size is greatly restricted.

 

④ Cutting precesion comparison

The laser cutting incision is narrow, parallel on both sides of the slit and perpendicular to the surface, and the dimensional accuracy of the cutting part is up to ±0.2mm.

Plasma can reach within 1mm.

Water cutting will not produce thermal deformation, accuracy of ±0.1mm, if the use of dynamic water cutting machine can improve the cutting accuracy, cutting accuracy of up to ±0.02mm, eliminate cutting tilt. Wire cutting machining accuracy is generally ±0.01~±0.02mm, up to ±0.004mm.

 

⑤ Cutting kerf comparision

Laser cutting is more precise than plasma cutting, cutting seam is small, around 0.5mm.

Plasma cutting slit is larger than laser cutting, around 1-2mm. The cutting seam of water cutting is about 10% larger than the diameter of the knife tube, generally in 0.8-1.2mm.

As the diameter of the sand knife tube expands, the incision becomes larger. The cutting seam width of the wire cutting is the smallest, generally around 0.1-0.2mm.

 

⑥Interface cutting quality comparision

1 Laser cutting machine different use of models have different prices, cheap such as carbon dioxide laser cutting machine also as long as twenty thousand or thirty thousand, expensive such as 1000W fiber laser cutting machine now to more than 1 million. Laser cutting is not consumable, but the cost of equipment investment in all cutting methods is the highest, and not a little bit higher, the use of maintenance costs are quite high.

2 plasma cutting machine relative to the laser cutting machine is much cheaper, according to plasma cutting machine power, brand and so on, the price range, the use of high cost, basically as long as the conductive material can be cut.

3) Water cutting equipment cost second only to laser cutting, high energy consumption, the use of maintenance costs are also high, cutting speed without plasma fast, because all the abrasives are disposable, used once on the discharge to nature, so the environmental pollution is also more serious.

4) wire cutting is generally around tens of thousands of blocks. But wire cutting is consumable, molybdenum wire, cutting coolant and so on. Wire cutting commonly used there are two kinds of silk, one is molybdenum wire (molybdenum valuable AH), used for fast-moving wire equipment, the advantage is that molybdenum wire can be reused many times, the other is the use of copper wire (more than molybdenum wire is much cheaper), for walking wire equipment, the disadvantage is that the copper wire can only be used once. In addition, fast-moving silk machine is far cheaper than walking wire machine, a walking wire price equals 5, 6 sets of fast silk.

 

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