Cutting of Structural Materials Utilizing High Powered CO2 Laser
MARE ISLAND NAVAL SHIPYARD VALLEJO CA
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A search for a better method of cutting thick steel sections, including those with coating materials attached, centered around a high powered CO2 laser. The CO2 laser had successfully demonstrated its ability to weld heavy sections of steel with 100 penetration from one side and create a very narrow heat affected zone HAZ. It was decided to expand this welding process to cutting by introducing high pressure assist gases. The gas would force the molten puddle created by the focused laser beam through the steel material, thereby, creating a cut through the material as opposed to allowing the molten material to fuse back together without the assist gases creating a welded joint. It was decided to take advantage of the lasers high powered density to cutvaporize non-metallic material attached to the steel plate. Also, there was interest in the effects of a laser beam on asbestos material.
- Marine Engineering