Lasers, Wood-Cutting And CO2 (possibly nitrogen maybe)

by Lord Reacted The Censored

So we upgraded to a 60 watt laser and word got around that we have it. Been cutting a lot of thin wood for various customers.

Top of the sheet, the laser head has an air-assist. When the beam fires the wood ignites briefly and the air-jet extinguishes it. There is a char-spot where the beam burns through and of course the edges of the cut are singed as well. The air-jet prevents fires and blows out flare-ups... in certain situations though the wood can ignite and you end up with an air-jet fueled fire.

Seems to me better results could be had if I use a stream of Co2 instead of air. The laser has a huge exhaust fan so we'd be pulling the CO2 out of the work area and our workshop has an always-open (even in the winter) window-and-fan because of the fumes we generate doing other stuff. I'm thinking CO2 would prevent even that brief flare/burn at burn-through and it would work better at keeping flare-ups under control. Given that we are effectively directing cool CO2 gas at the burn point we've displaced oxygen and kept the work surface cool at the same time.

Aside from the hazard of overwhelming one's self with CO2 and ending up dead and on the news, am I thinking right here? It seems it would work, there are some safety challenges (interlocks?) that I would have to work through but if it's technically sound I might look into it further.

Posted on Mar 24, 2017, 12:28 PM

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  1. 'Couple of things.... Doc Nickel, Mar 24, 2017
    1. some tricks to try.... James, Mar 24, 2017
    2. If the idea works, get on the Soda delivery route. Bruce Bergman, Mar 24, 2017
    3. Any way to mix CO2 and compressed air?. Irregular Logic, Mar 25, 2017
  2. Use the air jet, but.... Zman51, Mar 24, 2017
    1. Safety First!. Lord Reacted The Censored, Mar 24, 2017
      1. Re: Safety First!. Z-man51, Mar 24, 2017
  3. That's a neat idea!. Dave H, Mar 24, 2017
    1. Problems using gases in that way.. Z-man51, Mar 24, 2017
      1. Actually, using CO2 and N2 as laser assist gas is common. James, Mar 24, 2017
        1. That's Where I Got The Idea From --. Lord Reacted The Censored, Mar 25, 2017
          1. Ohhhh-Kay. Bruce Bergman, Mar 25, 2017
            1. I own the building --. Lord Reacted The Censored, Mar 25, 2017
              1. Modifications, HO!. Bruce Bergman, Mar 26, 2017
      2. Exhaust fans. Kunkmiester, Apr 1, 2017
        1. Sort of. Renegade_Azzy, Apr 3, 2017
  4. N2. Sniper1rfa, Mar 24, 2017
  5. Not worth it.. invest in better material and cleaning. Renegade_Azzy, Mar 27, 2017

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