Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Laser Cutting Plastic (Polyethelene)Tube Sheets

Laser Cutting Application:
Samples of plastic (polyethelene) tube sheets arrived at our plant for cutting and fusing. The first sample was the thinner one measuring 0.00128”. The second sample had a thickness of 0.0005 inches.

The application engineers processed the samples using the SBM 1200 cutting system equipped with a 250W continuous wave CO2 (10.6 um) through a 2.5" lens. The plastic packaging was cut while fusing the cutting edge to form a bag. This process proved successful with the thinner 0.00128" material making the cut in 100mm/second and in just one pass. The material with a thickness of 0.005" required a more powerful laser than what was currently available in the lab. A 400-500 watt laser would be needed to fuse the ends of the thicker material while maintaining a manageable cutting speed. This process would require fixturing for the materials and some fume extraction to reduce the amount of residue caused while cutting/fusing.

The SBM 1200 Laser Cutting and Engraving Machine comes equipped with a CO2 laser combing flying optics with a precision Direct Drive motion system. This system provides highly accurate cutting, welding, engraving and marking capabilities for multiple materials.

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