Like any other technological process, laser cutting has evolved over the years not only as the preferred alternative options to some of the conventional forms of cutting, but also to include different styles and methods itself.
If you’re still on the fence on the optical cutting does, we’ve compiled an in-depth guide below on what you need to know about laser cutting.
How laser cutting works
Unlike the mechanical cutting, laser cutting allows precision, and accuracy. By directing a high-powered laser beam to a material, the material, burns, vaporizes, or melts, leaving a high-quality finish. The cutting head can be moved over the material to achieve the shape of the desired part.
Types of Laser Cutting
The Laser machines on the market today mainly differ by the source they use. The three commonly used sources are gas lasers, fiber lasers, and vanadate lasers. Each ofthe laser types has its advantages and disadvantages and is suited for use on different materials.
Gas Laser Cutting
The gas laser is generated from electrically stimulating gas particles. The commonly used gas laser emanates from CO2. Carbon dioxide prominence arises from the fact that it’ relatively inexpensive, and efficient.
With a wavelength of 10.6 micrometers, gas cutters are cutting, boring and engraving light metals such as steel, titanium, and aluminum. Other materials that can be cut using the CO2 include thin papers and textiles.
Crystal Laser Cutting
Crystal cutting employs nd: YAG and nd: YVO. Both crystals are identical in style and are among the major components of the solid state group. Crystal Laser cutting is ideal for high-energy purposes such as welding.
The biggest drawback of the crystal cutting machine is that high initial cost of the piece of kit, and the short life expectancy compared to other Laser machines in The market.
Fiber Laser Cutting
Similar to the crystal cutting, The fiber laser cutter for metal uses a solid gain medium, rather than gas or liquid. The foundation laser, also known as seed Laser is arranged so that it produces a laser beam which is amplified inside the glass fiber and pump diode to produce a robust and more stable laser beam.
Other than having 100x strength than that of gas Laser machines, it offers a much longer service of around 25,000 hours and requires little maintenance, and should it require; it parts are relatively inexpensive.
The different techniques of laser cutting
Just like the different types of cutting we’ve covered above, there are also different techniques in which cutting can be performed too.
1) Laser Marking
Laser marking can be completed using a fiber Laser and entails melting a surface layer of a material t leave a marking.
2) Laser Engraving
The Laser engraving technique is similar to laser marking, with the only difference being that laser engraving leaves a deeper and engraved mark on the material. Laser engraving is often used for applications such as creating barcodes.
3) Laser drilling
Just like the previous techniques, Laser drilling can also be used with a fiber laser. It entails the creation of popped holes or dents in metals.
With a myriad of Types and methods of laser cutting, it means that it has used in an array of applications across different industries ranging from electronics, medical, aerospace, to automotive.