Fiber laser cutting machines are used for a wide range of applications and creations throughout the year, and regular maintenance is essential to keep them in top condition. This is more prominent in winter or in cold regions. In order to avoid downtime and unnecessary losses, appropriate anti-freezing measures must be taken. The following are some tips for maintaining fiber laser cutting machines in winter or cold areas.
Why does laser equipment need anti-freezing in winter?
Affected by the low-temperature environment in winter, the operation or storage of laser equipment at a temperature below 0°C will cause the laser and water-cooled pipes to freeze, and the volume of the water will become larger after solidification, which will cause the laser and the internal pipes of the water-cooled system to rupture or Deformed.
If the cold water pipeline is broken and the machine is turned on, it may cause the coolant to overflow and cause damage to related core components. In order to avoid unnecessary losses, please be sure to take correct anti-freezing measures.
Freeze-proofing Measures for Laser Cutting Machine in Winter
In order to avoid the damage to the laser, output head, and water chiller caused by the solidification of the cooling liquid, there are 3 solutions:
- If you are sure that there will be no power outages, always make sure that the chiller is running 24/7, especially at night. At the same time, for the sake of energy saving, the temperature of low temperature and normal temperature water can be adjusted to 5-10°C to ensure that the temperature of the coolant in the circulating state is not lower than the freezing point.
- If there is a power outage, equipment failure, or strategic power outage that causes the chiller to stop running, there may be a risk of freezing.
- Although the temperature does not have a great influence on the laser cutting machine, because many users will add butter to the screw, they will definitely forget to clean it in winter, which will cause it to not move every time it is turned on. For example, the winter in the north is very cold, the temperature in the studio will be very low, although the machine will still not be able to move even if the engine is oiled. At this time, we must ensure that the temperature in the working room reaches the minimum temperature of the refueling standard.
- When the chiller and laser generator are not used for a long time, try to drain the water in the chiller and pipeline.
In extremely cold weather, all cooling water in the laser, laser output head, processing center, and water cooler must be drained to protect the entire water cooling pipeline and related equipment. Extremely low temperatures can cause irreparable damage to the optical part of the laser. Please be sure to store and use the laser strictly in accordance with the storage and working temperature specified in the laser manual. Special attention must be paid to prevent unnecessary damage. If the laser equipment is transported or stored in a cold area, the output cable and laser must be filled with antifreeze before storage or transport to avoid freezing damage during storage and transport.
Close the water inlet and outlet valves on the water cooler, remove the water cooler and the water pipe on the laser, drain the remaining cooling water in the water pipe, and then blow clean compressed air to one end of the water pipe until the water in the remaining water pipe is Until it blows out.
Open the drain valve at the bottom of the water cooler to drain the water from the water tank. If necessary, the water cooler can be tilted to a certain angle to make the cooling water drain cleaner.
Open the inlet and outlet valves of the water cooler, and use clean compressed air to blow the remaining water into the equipment against the water inlet and the water outlet respectively (the blowing time of the water inlet is not allowed to exceed 5 seconds), until there is no residue in each nozzle Of water.
Each water cooler has a drain screw under the pump head. Open the drain screw to drain the water from the pump, and then use compressed air to blow the air from the outlet of the equipment to the inside until no residual water flows out of the outlet of the pump. Then tighten the drain screw.
If there is a deionized water tank, remove the water inlet and outlet pipes of the ionized water tank to drain the residual water in the water tank.
Remove the filter and drain the remaining water in the filter.
Drain the cooling water in the laser and ventilate the water inlet with clean compressed air until the residual water in the laser is blown out.
- The compressed air pressure used is generally ≤3.5bar;
- After draining the water, seal all the water inlets and outlets with rubber plugs, or reinstall the water pipes of each interface;
- Since the cooling water needs to be replaced every day in the summer to avoid exceeding the specified temperature, many users will ignore this in the cold winter and think that the water temperature will not increase much in cold weather. Therefore, many users often forget to change the water, especially in winter, because the outside temperature is very low, it is difficult to feel the spindle motor heating. Therefore, we especially remind users that cooling water is a necessary condition for the normal operation of the spindle motor. If the cooling water is too dirty, it will cause serious damage to the motor. Ensure that the cooling water is clean and the water pump works normally.
- When the laser machine is used in an environment where there are frequent power outages or there is no condition to drain the coolant every day, you must use antifreeze to prevent freezing. The basic liquid of the antifreeze is composed of alcohol and water, which will not corrode metal parts, rubber hoses, and other laser machine accessories. When selecting or mixing antifreeze, the freezing point of the antifreeze should be about 5°C lower than the lowest temperature of the environment in which it is used.
If there is a power failure and the cooling water cannot be drained, when temporary short-term antifreeze is required, ethanol (alcohol) can be added to the deionized water or purified water, and the addition amount should not exceed half of the tank volume. Because ethanol is very corrosive, it cannot be used for a long time. The ethanol mixture must be drained within a week and the cooling pipeline must be cleaned with purified or deionized water. If antifreeze is still required, a special antifreeze must be selected. Note that there is no antifreeze that can completely replace deionized water for use throughout the year. At the end of winter, the pipes must be cleaned with deionized water or distilled water, and the cooling water must be deionized or distilled water.
- Do not add too much antifreeze to the laser tube, the cooling layer of the tube will affect the light quality.
- For the laser tube, the higher the frequency of use, the higher the frequency of water changes.
- Please pay attention to the antifreeze of some cars or other machine tools, which may damage metal parts or rubber tubes.
- Antifreeze such as ethylene glycol can be added to the water tank. It is best to buy antifreeze at local hardware and chemical store, not from the Internet because it is not conducive to transportation. The ratio should be 30% ethylene glycol and 70% water. If the temperature is below zero, ethylene glycol must be added. Please remember that ethylene glycol is not alcohol, we need to distinguish strictly. Please note that the full name is “antifreeze glycol” when purchasing.
The above-mentioned methods play a very important role in the normal operation of the laser cutting machine in winter and the safety of the equipment. In order to better improve the efficiency of the laser cutting machine, start the mechanical equipment and check the whole machine before restarting the operation of the laser cutting machine. Whether all kinds of oil and coolant are missing or deteriorated, they must be replaced in time to find out the reason for the deterioration.