Posted on: 20 June 2017Share
Some inexperienced fabricators may be frustrated by the poor-quality cuts produced when they use a laser cutter to cut a sheet of brass. Such fabricators may not know the tips and tricks that pros use to produce excellent cuts in this reflective material. This article discusses some of those insider tricks that you can use when you are cutting brass on your laser cutter:
Step Up the Heat
The heat from your laser cutter is quickly dispersed by brass. The resultant cuts that you make can, therefore, have jagged edges. You can improve the quality of the cuts by increasing the power of the laser cutter so that the extra heat generated compensates for the heat that is lost due to the conductivity of the brass sheet.
Increase the Cutting Speed
All metals expand when they are subjected to high temperatures. The high conductivity of brass can make the metal to bend upwards at the cut seam. This distortion can affect the quality of the part that you were trying to fabricate. You can reduce the magnitude of this heat distortion by increasing the speed at which you cut the brass sheet. The speed should be so high that there won't be enough time for the sheet to fold up and hinder the cutting process.
Use a Coolant
Another way to cut this material without any problems entails using a coolant to absorb the heat that the sheet of brass accumulates during the cutting process. Water is the easiest coolant to use during this process because water is cheap and it can be reused multiple times. However, care must be taken to ensure that the water doesn't cool the brass so much that it becomes difficult to cut it.
Revise Your Cutting Pattern
The default approach is to make systematic cuts from one end of the sheet to the other end. This approach can give the brass sheet chance to absorb plenty of heat, with the result that distortion will occur. A better approach involves cutting different points in sequence so that the material has time to cool as another section of the sheet is being cut. This approach may consume a little more time, but you will be satisfied with the quality of the results that you obtain.
Reflective metals present their own unique set of challenges when one is cutting them. The best way to overcome those challenges is to understand each metal so that you select a cutting method and parameters that are suited to overcoming those challenges. Use the tips above to adjust how you have been cutting brass. Consult experienced fabricators, like those at Intracut, in case you still experience problems during the cutting process.