Compressor any good?

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Compressor any good?

Postby educa » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:21 am

I was wondering,

a compressor is used with the air assist nozzle to not have smoke come onto the lens + to help cutting also

but how many liters of air per minute would one regularly need ?

I have a small oilless compressor here (http://www.contimac.be/PRODUCTFICHES-CO ... /20253.htm) which can output 100 liters per minute , but its not very silent.

On the other hand, if I set it up to lower volumes, then this compressor could serve because its not always on then.

People also sell small airbrush compressors here which produce less then 40dbA and provide upto 20L/min of air.


Any ideas ? Whats an acceptable airflow rate to work with ?


Another important question is the moisture in the air. In a compressor there is moisture. Is this bad for the laser or should I install some kind of demoisturizer or so ?


My main puspose is to cut MDF board and Plexi (Acrylate) so I don't know if much air assist is needed for that ?


Kind regards,

Bart
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Re: Compressor any good?

Postby LeonS » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:48 am

Hi Bart.

I have a cheap little airbrush compressor and it works fine. It runs constantly but puts out a smooth even flow of air through the air assist nozzle. It works well with cutting MDF and plexiglass. Not only is the smoke pushed away from the beam allowing it to be undiminished, it also pushes the vaporized plastic out of the cut before it can resolidify. The laser cuts some material much better with air assist.

You can use your big compressor but it may run more than you would expect. The size of the nozzle hole lets a lot of air pass through quickly.

The air brush compressor purrs a long and your big compressor makes mucho noise I'll bet.

Cheers,
Leon
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Re: Compressor any good?

Postby educa » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:46 am

Leon,

Can you tell me aproximately how much air comes out of your airbrush compressor per minute or per hour ?

That can give me an idea of how many I would need.

I will use the 50.8 focal lens with coletech holder/air assist, so the nozzle will be aproximately 10 to 15 mm above the working material.


Regards,
Bart
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Re: Compressor any good?

Postby shatterjack » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:35 am

I use a husky 20 gallon I got from home depot. I'm not sure how much air blows through but I usually run it at about 20psi. I also have a little filter/trap on the line to remove debris and moisture. For a long job it kicks on every 5-10 mins or so I'd guess. I built a box for it to go in to dampen the sound and I have my vacuum pump pulling air through the box to keep it cool as well as exhaust the laser cutter.
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Re: Compressor any good?

Postby LeonS » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:01 pm

The airbrush compressor maintains about 5 psi (according to the gauge on the pump) while in operation. Essentially, whatever the compressor can pump goes directly out of the nozzle.

The length and diameter of the air hose and the diameter of the nozzle are the main things that determine the "resistance" to the air flow. The air assist presents a low resistance so there is a lot of air flow. The little airbrush pump just chugs along doing the best it can. I have seen nothing to indicate that it is inadequate.

On another laser forum, the advice was generally to go with the airbrush compressor. So far it has been working fine for me. I don't have any experience with higher pressure air assists.

Cheers,
Leon
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