Top Tips for Increasing the Lifespan of your Consumables
Stainless Steel, steel fabrication, Laser Cutting
Consumables can make up the largest portion of your operating costs, so if there is an opportunity to use less consumables, you get to save costs. There are a lot of contributing factors that make you go through your consumables at a rapid rate. The largest mistake people make though, is changing out their consumables too soon.
Consumable wear is very specific to each individual application so you cannot go by a standard rule of exchanging consumables after every shift or after a certain amount of pierces. This method can result in wasted money.
Herewith some tips to make sure you are changing your consumables at the right time.
Electrodes: As a rule of thumb, you do not need to change out standard all-copper electrodes until the hafnium pit depth reaches 0.040 to 0.045 inch. On silver electrodes, you can go even longer between change-outs, waiting until the pit depth reaches 0.080”
Nozzle. Generally, the nozzle / electrode change out ratio for standard all-copper electrodes is 1-to-1; however for silver electrodes, the ratio is 2- to-1.
Swirl rings. A swirl ring can easily last up to 50 times longer than your other consumables, meaning you don’t need to replace your swirl ring until you’ve gone through up to 50 electrodes. A key tip to getting proper swirl ring life is proper O-ring lubrication. If you don’t have enough lubricant, you could wind up chipping or causing other damage when you insert or extract it. Too much lubricant can however lead to blocked swirl passages and either create cutting quality problems or improper electrode cooling. You need to ensure that a very small amount of lubricant is rubbed onto the surface of the O-ring.
Shields. The shield should be changed out when it is visibly worn or when cut quality deteriorates. Retaining caps are not actually consumables and can easily last through 50 or more nozzle / electrode change outs.
For any questions please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or 011 397 6356. We are happy to help you with any questions you might have.
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