The behaviour of the cut-assist gas jet inside a simulating laser cut kerf for a supersonic and a conical nozzle tip were studied by a shadowgraphic technique under conditions of inlet stagnation pressure from 3 to 7 bar. The effects of the stand-off distance, kerf width, material thickness and the inlet stagnation pressure upon the dynamic characteristics and momentum thrust of the gas flow inside the cut kerf were investigated. It was found that under a gas pressure of 7 bar, the gas jet from a conical nozzle tip expands radially and the jet momentum deteriorates rapidly inside the kerf. The behaviour of the jet is strongly influenced by the stand-off distance and thickness of the workpiece. On the other hand, the gas jet from a supersonic nozzle inside the cut kerf has tidy boundary and uniform distribution of pressure and thrust. The sensitivity to the stand-off distance and the workpiece thickness of the supersonic nozzle are much less as compared with the conical nozzle. With the supersonic nozzle, a dross free clean cut on 5 mm stainless steel can be achieved at an inert cut-assist gas pressure as low as 5 bar instead of the normal operating range of 10 bar or above for the conical nozzle.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films