With the maturity and rapid development of laser technology, it has begun to be widely used in many industries. The laser cutting technology has also developed from sheet metal cutting to metal pipe cutting. The birth and application of professional laser pipe cutting machines have greatly improved the processing efficiency of metal pipes. This article mainly analyzes the advantages of professional laser pipe cutting machines, as well as the classification and characteristics of mainstream professional laser pipe cutting machines on the market, and looks forward to the development trend of professional laser pipe cutting machines.
The cutting principle of the laser pipe cutting machine is not much different from that of the plane laser cutting machine. As a special tube laser cutting machine, the laser pipe cutting machine is mainly used for standard metal pipes (round pipes, rectangular pipes, elliptical pipes, etc.) and profiles (U-steel, angle steel, etc.) and some special-shaped pipes for laser cutting. Compared with traditional processing technology, its advantages lie in the following aspects:
1. High cutting accuracy, with the contour accuracy reaching ±0.05mm.
2. The incision is flat without burrs, and the slit is fine with little material loss.
3. Non-contact processing, and the heat-affected zone of laser cutting is very small---- almost no deformation.
4. High cutting efficiency, which enables mass production.
5. Good flexibility. Using professional numerical control system and kit programming software, the product can be changed or replaced at any time.
It can be seen that the professional laser pipe cutting machine can replace mechanical drilling, milling, sawing, punching or cleaning of burrs and other processing procedures that require different metal pipe processing equipment and hard tools, and realize the cutting of complex pipe structures. It can be widely used in sheet metal processing, kitchen utensils, lamps, automobiles, medical equipment, hardware, fitness equipment and other industries.
With the rapid growth of metal pipe production and consumption, laser pipe cutting machine equipment is rapidly popularizing. At present, there are many types of laser pipe cutting machines on the market, which can be roughly divided into two categories according to the axial feeding method of pipes.
1. Fixed material cutting laser pipe cutting machine
This type of laser pipe cutting machine only processes fixed-length pipes. It is mostly used to process the contours of the pipe surface with constant axis and changing cross-section. Both ends of the pipe cannot be processed. Although the fixed-material cutting laser pipe cutting machine has great limitations and low efficiency, it still occupies a large market share because of its specificity.
Working principle: The fixed-material cutting laser pipe cutting machine fixes the pipe by two clamping chucks. The chuck rotates synchronously around the pipe axis, and the laser head feeds the pipe axially and radially for cutting.
2. Feeding cutting laser pipe cutting machine
This type of laser pipe cutting machine is mainly used for the processing of coaxial pipes with the same cross-section. It can not only process various contours on the surface of the pipe, but also can cut according to the design length of the pipe parts within the design stroke of the machine tool. Compared with fixed material cutting laser pipe cutting machine, it has strong flexibility and higher cutting efficiency. It currently occupies the majority of the professional laser pipe cutting machine market. The feeding cutting laser pipe cutting machine can be used for batch processing and cutting various contours of standard metal pipes such as square pipes and round pipes.
Working principle: The pipe is clamped by the clamping chuck and the supporting chuck is used to fix the pipe radially. All the chucks rotate synchronously around the pipe axis. The clamping chuck fixes the pipe for axial feeding, and the laser head does the radial feeding and cutting of the pipe.
At present, the feeding cutting laser pipe cutting machine on the market mainly uses two chucks. Although it is cost-effective, its defects are also obvious.
1) The stability of cutting accuracy is poor. For pipes with too long parts or poor rigidity, due to gravity deformation and centrifugal force of the chuck rotation, it is difficult to ensure the stability of the cutting accuracy even if the support of servo rollers or profiling wheels is added.
2) In terms of tail material, even if the laser head can cut across the support chuck, the clamping end of the chuck still cannot be cut, resulting in a waste of pipe.
In order to solve these deficiencies, some equipment manufacturers have extended the design of a multi-chuck laser pipe cutting machine based on the two-chuck feeding cutting laser pipe cutting machine, including:
1) Add a set of supporting chucks to ensure that the pipe with a certain tube length is hardly affected by gravity deformation and the centrifugal force of the chuck rotation, which can effectively ensure the stability of the cutting accuracy. Moreover, within the stroke range of the machine tool, the cutting length of parts is not restricted.
2) Add a set of clamping chucks for splicing. When the feeding clamping chuck is in the limit position, the splicing clamping chuck clamps the pipe for axial feed movement, which can ensure the zero tail cutting of most pipes.
Although the design above can completely solve the defects of the two-chuck feeding cutting laser pipe cutting machine, the increase in the cost of the chuck, the number of servo axes, and the numerical control system also explains the reason why multi-chuck feeding cutting laser pipe cutting machine has not become mainstream development trends.