Munford, AL—In the July 2000 issue of ILS, an article by Jack Gabzdyl (BOC Gases; Guilford, England) reported on the invention of the Lasox process. He described development work undertaken with the University of Liverpool (Liverpool, England) using high-pressure oxygen. Now Alabama Laser Systems (ALS) is rewriting the book on thick-plate cutting at Bender Shipbuilding (Mobile, AL). ALS is commercializing the Lasox process.
The Lasox cutting head is producing production parts in 1.5-inch steel plate. In his article, Gabzdyl had identified piercing as a process requiring development. ALS has resolved this with the piercing of 1.5-inch plate producing a spectacular show of molten metal resulting in a clean through hole in about one second. Smooth precision cutting then proceeds at 8 inches per minute in 1.5-inch thick steel.
The amazing part is that the power required for this process is below 2 kW for both piercing and cutting, and this process works with steel plate more than 2 inches thick. Feature details, narrow webs and parallel kerfs (allowing common line cutting of parts) are second to none with the Lasox process.
The research team (National Shipbuilding Research Program, Bender Shipbuilding, BOC and ALS) improved the process through design, materials and iteration of experiments into a robust industrial solution that is now a production reality.
For additional information on the commercial prospects of Lasox, contact Wayne Penn at (256) 358-9055 or [email protected].