Air Assist                                                                                                                                    Last update: 2019-08-13

The Air Assist is a nozzle from which air is blown onto the place where the laser beam hits the workpiece. Its purpose is threefold: prevent bad fumes form the cutting locaton to contaminate the focussing lens, to blow away fumes which might absorb the laser light, and it functions as a fire extinguisher.

To do its job effectively the tip of the nozzle should be just a few mm above the focussing point. This might become a problem when thick materials are to be cutted.

When there is to little air flow / pressure it might work adversely as an oxigen supply, intensifiying fire.

We were advised to make the airflow adjustable, as different materials and cutting speeds / intensities may demand for different airflows.

[photo of nozzle with tubes]

The air(pressure) is applied by the left tube, the second tube goes to a pressure detector recovered from a discarded washing machine, where these things are used to detect the water-fill level. If there is not a minimum of air pressure a job cannot be started.