Experimental work on laser cutting steel sheets was carried out using a commercial cutting device containing a 2-D handling machine and a fast axial flow 1.2-kW CO2 laser running in cw pulsed or superpulsed states. A power density of ~1.7 × 106 W/cm2 was obtained in the laser focal point by focusing with a 5-in. ZnSe meniscus lens. The materials mainly dealt with were ferritic (X6Cr17), austenitic (X5CrNi1810), and carbon steel (St 1403) sheets up to 8-mm thickness.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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