Laser cut solid polycarbonate

Laser cut solid polycarbonate Laser cutting of polycarbonate - advantages and disadvantages

Polycarbonate is a universal building material that is used for the most different repair needs. Transparent, durable or even colored material is used for the construction of greenhouse buildings and finishing the kitchen apron. For all types of work, the user is faced with the fact that it is required to cut the plastic. Laser cutting polycarbonate is the best method, albeit relatively expensive.

Advantages and disadvantages of laser cutting of polycarbonate materials

Polycarbonate is distinguished as cellular and monolithic.

The first one can be cut with even the simplest clerical knife, but the monolithic variety is quite strong, and it will take effort to cut it. If it is required to cut a complex (in terms of configuration) part from plastic, problems may arise with cutting. In the latter case, simple tools, for example, a hacksaw or even a metal saw, are almost unsuitable. But laser cutting is the ideal solution.

The fact is that a high-temperature plasma beam with a diameter of 0.

004 does not cut, but melts the material with incredible ease and precision. Even gas lasers with a power of 50 to 15,000 W are used for the procedure, which makes it possible to successfully process products with any thickness.

Laser cutting of monolithic polycarbonate has many advantages:

  1. The beam does not cut, but melts the material, which means that waste is simply not generated during cutting.
  2. By means of a laser, plastic is cut with any thickness and density.
  3. Cutting is characterized by the highest degree of productivity - up to 40 cm per second.

  4. The laser literally "seals" when processing the edge, because the finished product has the most perfect appearance - the edges of the fragments are even, smooth and perfectly fit.
  5. The laser makes it possible to cut material even on very complex contours.
  6. The machines are equipped with microscopic processors and blocks with automatic control, which ensures the complete identity of the obtained elements, regardless of the number of copies.
  7. The price for services is quite affordable and is determined by the amount of material, not the complexity of processing.

The disadvantages of this method include a rather difficult access, and laser cutting is offered in relatively large cities.

Details

Using laser cutting technology

High productivity, efficiency and extraordinary high cutting precision are the most significant advantages of the process. Together with other properties, they determine a wide area of ​​use. Depending on the power, the beam can melt building materials with varying degrees of strength, thickness and structure. Laser cutting makes it possible to work with metals - both soft and very hard, with all types of plastics, even wood.Today the laser machine is the most unpopular and optimal method for cutting sheets of all kinds of material.

Accordingly, the method is applied in all possible areas:

  • Laser cut solid polycarbonate Creation of decorative products from wood and plastic.
  • Production of equipment and advertising materials. Most often, polycarbonate, silicate and acrylic glass are used for such products.
  • By means of a laser, you can make not only cutting, but also delicate work, like engraving, while the degree of complexity of the pattern does not matter, but such decoration can be done on the surface of all materials - steel, wood, copper and polycarbonate.
  • The ability to make objects with the most complex configuration is due to the use of a laser in order to obtain three-dimensional and flat figures, letters, as well as elements of any shape.

  • No less complex parts are made of metal on a machine, which means that such cutting was in demand in the machine industry when creating elements with high precision.
  • Cutting polycarbonate and silicate glass is required in the production of household and commercial equipment and furniture.

The only limitation for using this method is the large thickness. At the same time, this has nothing to do with monolithic plastic.

How laser cutting works

Laser cutting of solid polycarbonate is quite simple.

Most of the cutting steps for polycarbonate are automatic. The process will include three stages:

  1. First you need to create a sketch, and it is best to do this through suitable programs, for example, Compass or AutoCAD. Polycarbonate will be cut according to the manufactured model. The configuration and complexity of the sketch does not matter.
  2. Choosing the right material - the fact is that polycarbonate is produced in different colors, thicknesses and degrees of transparency.

    Thickness is the only thing that matters to the cutting process, as different material densities require lasers with varying power levels. The other two parameters are important for quality performance, because the finished product must meet certain functional and aesthetic requirements.

  3. The process of cutting polycarbonate itself is carried out in automatic mode, and the specified layout with all the parameters must be loaded into the control machine unit, placed and fixed on the working surface of the plastic, and then started execution. Cooling, cutting, and exhaust gas removal are performed automatically. The speed of execution will be determined by the physical parameters and the thickness of the polycarbonate.

The laser-type machine is set up with the operator. The parameters for carrying out tasks depend on the type of material. For example, when cutting metallized polycarbonate, it is required to reduce the speed of the beam from the laser in order not to spoil the metallized layer.

Helpful Hints

When selecting tools, it is important to take into account dimensions, sheet thickness and cutting complexity. Monolithic thin sheets are much more convenient to separate with a construction knife.

Prepare straight cuts very conveniently with a circular and a grinder. For the design of rounded shapes, it is preferable to use an electric jigsaw. If the polycarbonate surface has a laminated or mirror finish, it is required to lay the decorative side up before cutting. If you need to make curly holes, in that place you need to drill through the polycarbonate with a drill on a material such as metal. It should not go beyond the contour line of the figure being made.

The same drill is required to make a small-sized partition.

When preparing the hole, insert a jigsaw file or a sharp utility knife. Then begin to carefully cut out the shape, and this work takes a lot of time and effort. And in order not to waste your own nerves and energy, it is best to use laser cutting. In the process of cutting a monolithic / cellular sample, it is extremely important to adhere to some recommendations, due to which the result will exceed all expectations:

  • Laser cut solid polycarbonate Before starting the cutting process, it is required to prepare the workspace, namely to remove debris, specks and small dust particles.

    It is recommended to lay out plywood or chipboard on a clean surface and lay out such material as polycarbonate on top.

  • When using an electric tool, you must remember about the personal safety of work.
  • When using an electric jigsaw or angle grinder, it is necessary to mount special supports under the polycarbonate sheets at the edges or along the cut lines.
  • Do not try to make a straight line by eye, and only by marking it will be possible to cut the material evenly.
  • The most important thing is to choose the most convenient tools for cutting, and you should also adhere to the technology of working with it and the algorithm of actions.

Conclusion

Laser cutting of polycarbonate is the optimal method of material processing. It is able to provide the maximum accuracy of cutting plastic, and also makes it possible to obtain products with a very complex configuration and based on materials of any thickness.

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