Top Factors that Affect the Quality of Laser Cutting Acrylic Glass to Size

15 October 2019
 Categories: , Blog

In most industries where glass and plastic were the primary raw materials, acrylic sheeting has taken over. One such sector is advertising where acrylic glass has replaced plastic as arguably one the best, if not the best, materials for signage. That said, perspex sheeting must first be cut to size to produce the various dimensions of sheets different sized signs. However, before you undertake the process of laser cutting perspex to size, it is crucial to understand some of the factors that affect the quality of cut. If you do not consider these factors, you are likely to end up with acrylic sheeting that doesn't meet your aesthetic needs.  

Laser Power -- One of the critical factors that affect the quality of laser cut perspex is the laser power. Generally, experts point out that for every 10 watts of power, an operator can cut 1mm of acrylic sheeting. The level of power makes it easy to flame polish the cuts as well as provide excellent production speeds. However, that doesn't mean that 50 watts of laser power cannot cut through 10 mm of acrylic sheeting. The only problem is that the quality of the cut will be poor, not to mention the slow pace of laser cutting perspex sheeting of such thickness. High power is the best for cutting thicker acrylic sheeting faster.  

Frequency -- When a laser cutting machine comes on, it releases a certain amount of pulses of laser beams over a given period. It is referred to as frequency in acrylic sheeting laser cutting terms. The appropriate frequency, however, depends on the type of acrylic sheeting to be cut to size. For instance, for a flame-polished cut on cast acrylic sheeting, it is advisable to start with high laser cutting frequencies. For extruded acrylic, on the other hand, you cannot go wrong with low laser frequencies. Generally, reducing the laser cutter's frequency minimises the number of laser pulses and the machine's cutting energy. Consequently, it decreases potential damage to acrylic sheeting.  

Laser Cutting Speed -- Before you set the appropriate speed on a laser cutting machine, you should first know the type of cut you are making. If you are cutting perspex sheeting to size, it is referred to as a separation cut. Therefore, the quality of separation cuts isn't a priority; thus, the speed can be reduced to ensure a complete cut the first time. However, if you are dealing with a quality cut such as an image or text, then high laser speed is recommended. It helps to prevent the laser from focusing on one area for extended periods, thereby causing bubbles, boiling, and burns on the perspex sheeting.

For more information on cut to size perspex sheeting, contact a local retailer.