OPTIMIZATION OF THE KERF QUALITY CHARACTERISTICS IN CO2 LASER CUTTING OF AISI 304 STAINLESS STEEL USING THE TAGUCHI METHOD
Keywords: optimization, Taguchi method, kerf width, kerf taper, laser cutting
AbstractIn this paper, Taguchi method was applied to analyze the effect of the main laser cutting parameters such as the laser power, cutting speed, assist gas pressure, and focus position on the two kerf quality characteristics such as the kerf width and kerf taper. Laser nitrogen cutting of a 3 mm thick AISI 304 stainless steel was performed on a 2.2 kW CO2 laser cutting system. The laser cutting expe¬riment was planned and conducted according to the Taguchi’s experimental design using the L27 orthogonal array. From the analysis of means (ANOM), analysis of variance (ANOVA) and signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio response tables, the significant laser cutting parameters were identified and subsequently the optimal combination of parameters levels for both kerf quality characteristics were determined. The results showed that the focus position is the most significant parameter affecting the kerf quality characteristics whereas the influence of the assist gas pressure can be neglected. The optimal combination of the laser cutting parameter settings minimized the kerf width and kerf taper to 0.312 mm and 0.83°, respectively. Confirmatory experimental results showed good agreement with predicted results. The results presented in this work confirm the effectiveness of Taguchi’s method in optimization of laser cutting process.