Friday, January 9, 2009

Laser Cutting Sheet Alumin with Polyethylene Backing

Laser Cutting Application:

Polyethylene is a thermoplastic commodity heavily used in consumer products, most notably the plastic shopping bag. Over 60 million tons of the material is produced worldwide every year. Shopping bags just scrape the surface of the uses of polyethylene. Manufacturers make various other everyday consumer products from polyethylene including: tables, chairs, and outdoor storage sheds. The medical industry, in particular, benefits from polyethylene when it’s applied as a backing on a sheet of aluminum and used to seal test tubes.

In this application, circles were cut from a sheet of aluminum with polyethylene backing which is used to fuse a series of tubes to the sheet. The circles were cut so that the tubes could be easily removed from the sheet without causing any damage to the tubes and maintaining the seal. The aluminum sheet with polyethylene backing samples were processed using a pulsed fiber laser (1064nm, 1mJ @ 20kHz) through scanning head and160mm focusing lens. The process took 3.24 seconds per hole and cut through in just one pass using 100% power.

The application engineers recommended a FiberTower™ marking system with a pulsed fiber laser (1064nm, 1mJ @ 50kHz) and a focal length lens of 160mm.

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