Laser cutting services are currently one of the most popular, fastest and most accurate techniques used to obtain accurately cut parts. This type of cutting is performed on various materials, both metal and non-metal. Elements cut with a laser in particular, are very popular among customers who appreciate the precision of work.
Laser Cutting – Process
The process of laser cutting is classified as thermal separation. Cutting with the help of a laser is a process in which the energy of the laser beam – continuous or pulsed – causes either the material to be cut, or the material to be melted and evaporated, or the material to be melted and burned. At the time when the laser beam contacts a specific element, a significant part of the light energy is transferred to it. This aspect makes it possible to make very precise cuts. In addition, the computer software allows you to optimize the entire cutting process in order to use the sheet metal to the maximum and obtain a high-quality results. It is also worth noting that due to their specificity, laser cutting services are an excellent choice not only for big companies but also for individual clients.
In order to obtain greater accuracy and precision of laser cutting, a foil is used to cover the cut surface to reduce the reflectivity of light. The beam then focuses mainly on the cut point, with most of the energy being transferred to the cutting process itself. Thanks to the focused beam and condensed energy, the laser technology definitely exceeds other methods of unconventional material cutting in terms of processing speed. Even with the greater complexity of the component, the process time is very short. The laser cut object, despite the heat-affected zone and other small machining leftovers, has straight edges, precise shape and high surface quality. The shape and dimensional accuracy obtained allows to avoid further machining processes, especially on material with smaller thicknesses.
Laser cutting – processing methods
The use of a laser in the process of cutting can be implemented in several different ways. There are three main types of cutting, i.e .:
- – liquid cutting – which most often uses nitrogen, which makes it possible to very precisely clean the cut surface;
- – reactive cutting – where either an oxygen stream is used or the chemical mixture contains argon and oxygen. As part of the heat generated during this process, laser cutting by burning is more efficient than separate processing methods;
- – cutting with the use of cracks – in which laser beams are used to bring a specific part of the metal to a very high temperature. This can also be called as a treatment based on the formation of gaps in the material.
Advantages of laser processing
The main advantage of laser processing is its wide possibility of application. The laser can cut many different materials. Laser processing can be applied to virtually any plastic. Laser cutting also has other strengths, such as:
- – precision and accuracy of cutting,
- – increasing the productivity,
- – error-free cutting process,
- – cost reduction,
- – processing speed and efficiency,
- – the degree of repeatability,
- – cutting that does not cause damage,
- – no need for processing after cutting,
- – high degree of process automation,
- – no damages on material,
- – possibility of cutting materials of various thickness,
- – low thermal influence on the material.
Disadvantages of laser cutting
The only disadvantage is due to the fact, that the machines used for cutting are quite expensive and only a handful of companies can afford to buy them. The high cost is also associated with proper training and obtaining qualified team to deal with the operation of this machine.
Summarizing, laser cutting of steel is a relatively fast and extremely precise method of processing this material in any designed shape. Devices that enable it, guarantee accuracy, the highest quality and high repeatability of elements, thanks to the optimized implementation process. However, initially it is associated with high investment costs.