Most manufacturers rely on laser cutting as a highly efficient process for achieving precision cuts in many different materials. The manufacturing industry produces many different types of products, ranging from plastics to glass and steel. Laser cutting allows for each of these materials (and many more) to be subjected to laser energy. The energy provides small focal diameters that allow for utmost precision cutting during various manufacturing processes.
If you're wondering which materials are good candidates for laser cutting, this piece will explore some of the most commonly used items.
Stainless steel is one of the most common materials subjected to laser cutting. Through 2D, 3D, and minimal thermal impact cutting, many different lasers can be used to achieve precise cuts on stainless steel sheets and panels. As a result, the laser cutting process comes in handy for designing steel pieces for use in vehicle manufacturing and aeroplane design, and even in constructing pipelines.
Depending on the specific application, many different lasers can be used during the cutting process. For example, CO2 lasers and solid-state lasers are commonly used for varying widths of steel panels.
It would be difficult to imagine precise glass structures without laser cutting. This is because many mechanical processes that are used to cut glass often result in micro chipping and cracks that affect the integrity of the final product. In addition, lengthy post-manufacturing processes (such as polishing and grinding) often have to be carried out to fix chipped glass.
Thanks to laser cutting, glass surfaces can be shaped and designed with utmost precision. The laser does not cause any cracks or chips in the final product. Lasers can also result in unique shapes, such as curved and angled cuts, within the glass surface.
Copper and many other non-ferrous metals are normally subjected to laser cutting for many different applications. In addition to copper itself, zinc, silver, gold and platinum can also be laser cut with highly efficient results.
Depending on the thickness of the surface, either pulse or continuous-wave lasers will be used to provide accurate results with minimal energy consumption. It is important for the surface to be closely examined to avoid using cutting techniques that either take too much time or result in material wastage.
Plastic, mostly in the form of polymers, can be cut using CO2 lasers into multiple shapes and sizes. For example, thermoplastic is often cut and sized to form illuminated advertising materials for businesses. When done correctly, plastic can be laser cut using low energy consumption while producing highly accurate results.Share