The term ‘laser cutting’ sounds pretty technical. Though the process might be a bit difficult to understand initially, the technology is indeed innovative and augments manufacturing in the industrial realm.
As the term suggests, the technology makes use of a laser beam to cut metal sheets and plates, piping materials and metals used for structural purposes with precision. The method is usually used in large scale manufacturing units and the laser cuts the material either by burning, melting or blowing it away.
Understanding Laser Cutting
Though we often use the term laser, most of us do not know that the word is an acronym that stands for ‘light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation’. It can thus be understood that the technology essentially makes use of stimulated emission which gets manifested as a low divergence beam. This beam is then made to reflect through various surfaces.
Now, one may ask how a laser beam is generated. It is done by stimulating a ‘lasing’ material with the help of electrical discharges or lamps within a closed container. When this technology is used to cut metal, it is called laser cutting.
The Process Involved
The process is devise based and to begin with, a computer directs a high power laser depending on the material that has to be cut. The lasing material then has to be stimulated with the help of a reflector and the light beam gets transmitted internally. Mirrors are usually used to reflect the light onto the lens. Once the laser beam reaches the material, it melts or burns the metal to produce a surface finish of premium quality.
Though this is the basic underlying principle, several methods like vaporization, melt and blow, scribing and thermal stress cracking are used to cut different metal-based surfaces. The cutters involved are referred to as industrial laser cutters.
Here, it may be noted that custom laser cutting has gained good market recognition because it can cut metal at a great speed.
- It is also a much neater and cleaner process as compared to the traditional methods of cutting.
- Moreover, some rare and hard metals cannot be cut with the help of traditional ways of cutting. Laser cutting comes handy on such occasions.
- It is a cost effective method of cutting high-precision parts. Further, time and energy get saved as individual parts need not be cut manually.
The good part about high quality laser cutters is that they have the capacity to bore holes ranging from a few millimeters of diameter to several feet wide. They can cut objects made out of steel, copper, aluminum, brass and several others.
However, laser cutters can cut metals having a certain thickness. If the thickness of the metal sheet is either less or more than the limit of the cutter, it wouldn’t be able to cut the sheet. Despite this drawback, custom laser cutting numerous applications, especially the need to cut something to a precise measurement, have made it so popular in different industries.