Facilities with laser cutters may produce poor quality cuts due to improper equipment cleaning practices. This article discusses some components that you should clean in case the quality of your laser cuts has dropped.
Laser cuts can be compromised in case you forget to change the assist gas bottles at the right time. For instance, equipment manufacturers recommend changing the gas bottles once the pressure of the gas drops below a certain threshold. Leaving the bottle longer can result in any the dirt at the bottom of the bottle fouling the optics system. Buy an alarm system to alert you once the pressure drops to the point when you need to change the bottle. Use the purge lines to clear the gas delivery system before you connect any new assist gas bottle to your laser cutter. Expelling that dirt will ensure that the machine makes quality cuts.
Cutting Head Cavity
It is usually counterproductive to clean out the lens without paying any attention to the cavity in the cutting head where the lens sits. The accumulated dirt in the cavity will drop onto the lens and your efforts at cleaning that lens will be in vain. Always use the blower nozzle on the side of the laser cutter to clean the cavity inside the cutting head before you fit a recently cleaned lens back into its place.
Cutting Head Gaskets
Did you know that the cutting head of your laser cutting machine has gaskets inside it? The gaskets are found on the upper part of the cutting head cavity. Failure to clean those gaskets as you service the laser cutter can result in poor quality work because the laser beam from the optics system will be affected by the dirt that drops from those gaskets. Remove and clean those gaskets so that they are free from dirt.
Quartz Tubes and Resonator
The strength of the laser beam depends on how well the quartz tubes and resonator are doing their work. Contaminated resonators change colour and appear white or black (depending on the particular type of resonator). Observe your resonator and clean it in case you notice that it is changing colour. Wipe off any dirt film that you observe on the quartz tubes as you service your equipment.
Maintain good housekeeping practices so that dirt doesn't get into your laser cutting machine. Clean each of the components discussed above in case the equipment has been cutting poorly of late. Invite an expert to inspect your machine if your efforts don't result in improved cutting outcomes.