Technology Advancements for Laser Cutting of Highly Reflective MetalsAugust 1, 2016
Fonon Corp., Lake Mary, FL, has incorporated three major hardware-technology updates into its laser-cutting systems, including direct-drive advancements, CleanCut technology and adaptive thin-to-thick laser-beam shaping. The advancements are designed to benefit users that must precisely cut highly reflective metals at production-level speed, according to company officials.
An advanced, magnetic motion system and laser advancements allow laser-cutting systems such as Fonon’s Titan FX to balance high acceleration, cut speeds and positioning with maximum accuracy. The Titan FX fiber engine can cut highly reflective material such as copper, brass and titanium, while reportedly processing common materials at speeds three to four times faster than CO2 lasers of equal wattage.
Traditional flatbed laser-cutting systems, which rely on rack and pinion, ball screws or belt drives to traverse the cutting head, face limitations common to all mechanical, high-contact systems, including wear and tear of the gears, reduced belt tension over time, and damage from the inevitable accretion of contaminants, grit and dust generated by normal production conditions. Fonon’s motion system uses direct-drive linear-motion technology, effectively levitating the cutting head smoothly and quickly across the working surface area.
“It’s the same technology the U.S. Navy is testing to launch fighter jets from an aircraft carrier,” says Jay Schlegel, Fonon vice president. “The Titan FX’s direct-drive magnetic motion system allows for smoother motion, higher acceleration speed of the cutting head, less stress and vibration on the carriage frame, a lower system weight, and decreased maintenance requirements. There simply are no ball screws, belts or gears to deteriorate or break down.”
CleanCut technology reportedly improves the precision and slimness of the laser beam itself. Conventional laser-cutting methods create an area of discoloration, potentially weakening and stressing the material on either side of a cut associated with an excessive heat-affected zone. CleanCut technology reduces or eliminates this zone by producing a beam narrower than conventional lasers.
Adaptive thin-to-thick beam-shaping technology automatically adjusts the laser beam’s properties to process a range of material thicknesses, delivering economical operation, superior edge quality on thick plate and high-speed cutting of thin material, according to Fonon officials.
Fonon Corp.: www.fonon.us
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms
See also: Fonon Technologies
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