Application of laser cutting technology in automobile industry

Laser is a kind of light which is enhanced by radiation produced by stimulation. Due to its good directivity, high brightness, good monochromatic characteristics, laser applications are very wide, such as laser cutting, laser welding, laser engraving, laser drilling, laser marking and so on. Laser application has become one of the most promising fields. As one of the most important technology applications in laser processing, laser cutting mainly has two kinds: one is pulse laser, which is suitable for metal materials; the other is continuous laser, which is suitable for non-metallic materials. The following will introduce the application of laser cutting technology in the automotive industry.
Principle and advantages of laser cutting
Laser cutting is to use high-power density laser beam to scan the surface of materials. In a very short time, the material is heated to thousands to tens of thousands of degrees centigrade to make the material melt or gasify. Then, the melted or gasified material is blown away from the cutting seam with high-pressure gas to achieve the purpose of cutting.
Laser cutting has the following advantages in the production of automobile parts: (1) high precision, positioning accuracy is about 0.05mm. (2) the slit is narrow and the laser beam is focused into a small light spot, which makes the focus reach a high power density. The material is heated to the degree of gasification and evaporates to form holes. With the relative linear movement of the beam and the material, the hole continuously forms a narrow slit. (3) the cutting surface is smooth without burr. (4) high speed, much faster than wire cutting speed. (5) the cutting quality is good, non-contact cutting, the thermal effect of the cutting edge is very small, there is no thermal deformation phenomenon of the workpiece, completely avoid the collapse edge formed during the material punching and shearing, and the cutting seam generally does not need secondary processing. (6) the workpiece will not be damaged, and the laser cutting head will not contact with the workpiece surface to ensure that the workpiece is not scratched. (7) laser can process steel plate, stainless steel, aluminum alloy plate, cemented carbide, etc. (8) not affected by the shape of the workpiece, good flexibility, can process arbitrary graphics, can also cut pipe and other profiles. (9) saving the investment of mold, laser processing does not need mold, no mold loss, no need to repair mold, save mold replacement time, thus saving processing costs and production costs. (10) saving materials, using computer programming, can be different shapes of products for the whole board material nesting, improve the utilization of materials. (11) it can shorten the development cycle of new products. In the trial production of new products, the quantity is generally small, the structure is uncertain, there is no need to make molds, reduce waste and shorten the production cycle of new products. (12) it can cut non-metallic materials.
Therefore, it is very feasible to use this kind of equipment in production, and this equipment is also suitable for the production of small batch of workpieces, which provides convenience for the preliminary trial development of parts and saves the cost.
Laser cutting equipment
There are many kinds of laser cutting equipment: (1) plane laser cutting machine, mainly cutting plane workpiece. (2) 3D laser cutting machine can cut the workpiece in 3D space. (3) laser cutting robot (Fig. 1), which can cut more complex 3D workpiece.
Figure 1 laser cutting robot workstation
With the development of automobile industry, the application of laser cutting robot is more and more, and this type of laser cutting equipment can also cut plane workpiece and simple three-dimensional workpiece, so the following focuses on the components of laser cutting robot workstation: (1) high precision track robot, which realizes high-precision, high-speed, three-dimensional processing and cost reduction. (2) laser generator, including solid laser generator, gas laser generator and fiber laser generator, is the device for generating laser source. (3) cooler for cooling laser generator. (4) optical fiber cable. (5) the cutting head mainly includes cavity, focusing lens seat, focusing lens, capacitive sensor and auxiliary gas nozzle. (6) the worktable is used to place the workpiece to be cut, and can move correctly and accurately according to the control program. It is driven by a servo motor. (7) the CNC system controls the worktable to realize the movement of X, y, z axes, and also controls the output power of the laser. (8) the operating table is used to control the working process of the whole cutting device. (9) gas cylinder, including working medium cylinder and auxiliary cylinder of laser cutting machine. (10) air compressor. (11) air cooling dryer and filter. (12) auxiliary equipment such as exhaust dust collector.