3-D Laser Cutting of Hot-Stamped Steels
This new type of metalforming requires a new generation of 3D processing equipment for trimming and piercing. While traditional mechanical equipment used to trim and pierce formed parts results in extremely high tool wear, laser-beam cutting, according to Antonio Rotunno, director of technical services for Prima North America, Chicopee, MA, offers manufacturers a to easily and accurately adjust trim lines and feature size or location. And, the thermal reaction required for laser cutting is unaffected by steel strength.
In 1995, Rotunno says, hot-formed parts were laser-cut using oxygen as the assist gas. Cutting speeds were around 100 in./min. Today, lasers with higher beam quality and power to 5000 W allow cutting with an inert assist gas such as nitrogen, with speeds in excess of 780 in./min. The cut edges are free from oxide and therefore are weld- and paint-ready with no secondary operations required.
Prima has deployed 3-D laser-cutting systems in hot-stamping applications throughout Europe and North America, including automotive supplier SSAB HardTech, a manufacturer of safety components (acquired by Gestamp in 2005).
Prima North America: 413/598 5200; www.prima-na.com
See also: Prima Electro North America, LLC
Related Enterprise Zones: Fabrication
There are no comments posted at this time.