The aerodynamic interactions of the assist gas during fusion laser cutting determine the cutting performance. Therefore, this subject has been object of multiple studies in order to surpass the drawbacks exhibited by conventional cutting heads. Utilization of off-axis De Laval nozzles to inject a supersonic gas jet has been demonstrated to be an effective option to increase performance and cut quality during fusion laser cutting. However, all attempts performed in this direction have been carried out using axisymmetric supersonic nozzles.
In this work, cutting results performed by means of a novel cutting head incorporating an off-axis nozzle with rectangular cross section are presented. The results demonstrate the capability of this novel approach to laser cut difficult materials such as Al-Cu alloys for aeronautic applications.