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Laser Marking Machine
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Laser Cutting
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1. What is laser cutting?
Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to cut materials, and is typically used for industrial manufacturing applications, but is also starting to be used by schools, small businesses and hobbyists. Laser cutting works by directing the output of a high-power laser, by computer, at the material to be cut. The material then either melts, burns, vaporizes away, or is blown away by a jet of gas leaving an edge with a high-quality surface finish. Industrial laser cutters are used to cut flat-sheet material as well as structural and piping materials.
2. Types
There are three main types of lasers used in laser cutting. The CO2 laser is suited for cutting, boring, and engraving. The neodymium (Nd) and neodymium yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd-YAG) lasers are identical in style and differ only in application.
CO2 lasers are used for industrial cutting of many materials including mild steel, aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, paper, wax, plastics, wood, and fabrics. YAG lasers are primarily used for cutting and scribing metals and ceramics.
3. Advantages and disadvantages
Advantages of laser cutting over mechanical cutting include easier workholding and reduced contamination of workpiece.
Precision may be better, since the laser beam does not wear during the process.
There is also a reduced chance of warping the material that is being cut, as laser systems have a small heat-affected zone. Some materials are also very difficult or impossible to cut by more traditional means.
The main disadvantage of laser cutting is the high power consumption. Industrial laser efficiency may range from 5% to 15%. The power consumption and efficiency of any particular laser will vary depending on output power and operating parameters. This will depend on type of laser and how well the laser is matched to the work at hand. The amount of laser cutting power required, known as heat input, for a particular job depends on the material type, thickness, process (reactive/inert) used, and desired cutting rate.
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