Role of the Features of Focused Laser Beam at Pulsed Laser Cutting

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Abstract

In this article investigation of the roles of two important factors of focused laser beam, the focal spot diameter and the Rayleigh length as determining variables of the beam quality were made. The equations of these two factors are based on those most commonly used in the literature. The exchange between three different beam quality numbers were shown. It is proven on the basis of the scientific literature, that the beam quality degrades compared to the original data given by the factory of laser. The causes of the beam quality degradation are lens aberrations in the optical path of the given laser, and the shifting of the beam propagation ratio (M2) to higher values. A new equation for estimation of the new, lowest value for M2 factor is presented, based on the comparison of the laser cut material thickness to the depth of focus, which is two times the Rayleigh length.

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