Laser cutting was initially tested on thin metal. recently, the same method has been applied to glass cutting with the introduction of special devices. There are two types of laser cutting. The first is an original technology and is called thermal evaporation laser cutting. This process is currently practically not used, since it is the slowest and consumes a large amount of energy. The method itself consists in evaporating the glass to the end. The main disadvantage of this option is the presence of final stress in the material due to heating, which can lead to breakage of the product along the edges of the cut.
The second method, currently used, has been developed as a result of the improvement of thermal evaporation. It was found that it is not at all necessary to completely vaporize the glass with a laser; low thermal conductivity and heat resistance allow the use of the thermal cleaving method. The principle of this method is to discretely heat the glass along the entire cut line. This is followed by a sharp cooling, and in this area a tensile stress is formed, breaking the glass clearly along the mowing line.
Laser cutting has several advantages:
- Quality cut with a flawless edge;
- Curly cutting is simplified;
- Cutting of thick glass is possible;
- The product is NOT subjected to mechanical stress;
- Easy to adjust and control the cutting process.
The glass laser cutting process is currently under development. Therefore, like all new technologies, this method has its drawbacks:
- Low emission material (infrared reflective) Not suitable for laser processing;
- Expensive machines requiring careful use;
- Low processing speed. 5 to 10 m / min.
Glass cutting. The most important step in the processing process. As a result, the product acquires a given size and shape, as well as the possibility of artistic finishing, which improves its appearance. These actions, depending on the desired result, can be performed in various ways and methods on specialized machines.
You should never neglect the preparation for the glass cutting process. This operation is impossible without preliminary preparation. It is necessary to wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove all unnecessary inclusions. After the glass is dry, dry with a dry cloth.
Many experts advise using old paper rather than rags. It does not leave fibers on the surface, which interfere with the cutting process. Glasses that have already been used are much more difficult to cut and therefore take longer to prepare. In addition to cleaning and drying, such material must be degreased with kerosene.
Waterjet cutting was made possible in the 1980s by the use of powerful hydraulic pumps that allowed the fine, pointed granules of crushed materials to be mixed with water. The technology is designed for cutting a wider range of materials. Glass is very suitable for this method, which leaves a matte edge that is easy to polish.
The advantages of this cutting:
- Excellent edge quality which makes sanding unnecessary;
- Lack of chemical and thermal effects on the material, minor mechanical impact, no cracks;
- Ability to cut very thick and laminated glass.
Despite the advantages, there are also disadvantages:
- Very low cutting speed (0.5-1.5 m / min) depending on glass and equipment;
- High operating costs of equipment;
- The need to prepare a large amount of water.
Before starting cutting any type of glass, first of all, you need to check the health of the glass cutter and its sharpening. You should try to cut an unnecessary piece of the sheet. A working glass cutter moves effortlessly and creaks, the cut line is thin and continuous. All other results will indicate that the cutting element is defective, or errors were made in the cutting technique.
It is also worth choosing a flat resistance with dimensions exceeding the size of the letter being processed. Any straight surface will do. For safety, it is worth laying a thick cloth on it. Glass marking tools. This is a bright marker, iron ruler, tape measure.
For high-quality cutting, it is necessary to follow the technology and sequence of operations.
- Apply the start and end points of the cut on the surface.
- The glass cutter is at the top and has a ruler attached to it.
- Cutting is done smoothly from top to bottom, with constant force and in one direction. It is not worth holding the glass cutter several times in the same place. Glass may crack.
- Break off a piece by aligning the cut line with the edge of the table. To induce a crack, gently tap on the cut of the glass cutter, and then chop off in one sharp motion.
- If the chip is uneven, you can fix it with pliers or use the special cutouts in the glass cutter handle. To avoid cracks, the cut line must be moistened with turpentine.
- At the final stage, sand the cutting line with sandpaper, a velvet file or a sharpening stone.
Features of cutting different types
Tempered glass, also known as tempered glass, is made by heating it in an oven to a temperature of 680 degrees and then rapidly cooling it with uniform air flows. They use such a product as windshield and window glass in cars, as well as heat resistance and fireproof cover. As a rule, glass cutting and processing is done just before annealing, which eliminates other problems. Processing of such material by conventional methods is impossible due to its mechanical properties.
There are different cutting methods available for tempered glass. First. Laser cut glass. Due to the fact that the laser cuts the material by heating at a certain point, internal stresses at this point drop and prevent glass cracking, produce a smooth and high-quality cut. The second and more complex method involves preliminary annealing. The main goal of this method is to completely remove residual stresses over the entire area of the material and thus convert it into ordinary sheet quartz glass. Annealing is carried out by soaking the material in water with a temperature index of the viscosity of solidification in an oven. This is followed by slow cooling to a temperature below deformation. As a result of THESE actions, the glass loses its tempered properties and can be mechanically cut.
Acrylic glass, also known as organic, is a synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate, a transparent thermoplastic plastic. It is called glass only formally because of its transparency. The rest of the characteristics are significantly different and have nothing to do with real glass, which allows you to apply completely different processing methods to it. In this regard, one of the most popular cutting methods is dissection with the introduction of a milling machine, when specialized equipment is NOT required, but the same equipment is used as for processing wood and metals.
Other methods used to disassemble glass also apply to the acrylic version. Waterjet and laser cutting work with organic glass with great efficiency and provide a faster cutting speed than when using the same equipment for processing conventional glass. Thick reinforced glass is difficult to cut due to the presence of a metal mesh.
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