laser cutting process

The first step of the Laser cutting process begins with a request. The laser cutting process is involved with multiphysical phenomena including initial solid heating, melting and evaporation toward keyhole formation, cutting initiation, kerf formation, and dross ejection. Marking is similar to engraving in that a mark is made but the difference being that the mark is only surface level, while an engraving from laser engraving has much more depth. Mirrors or fiber optics are typically used to direct the coherent lightto a lens, which focuses the light at the work zone. With efficient speed and production rates, our lasers are great at working with numerous materials and high output industrial applications. Click on the infographic below to view the entire image, as only a thumbnail view is shown on this page. Alongside the benefits listed above, they are often maintenance free, require much cheaper replacement parts, and have a much longer service life of around 25,000 usage hours. Laser cutting is a highly accurate process, thanks to this high level of control that you are offered. Thanks to this, slits with a width as small as 0.1mm can be achieved when using the process. For relatively light sheet weights, a fixed optic system can be a viable option, but as the sheet weight increases, accurately positioning the material at high speed can be a problem. This process is suitable for a wide range of materials, including metal, plastic, wood and glass. In flame cutting, oxygen is used as the assist gas. They offered an entirely new form of energy which in turn lent itself to uses in manufacturing, medicine and communications. The process works by having a focused and precise laser beam run through the material that you are looking to cut, delivering an accurate and smooth finish. For a constant focus length lens, increase in the raw beam diameter also reduces both the spot diameter and the depth of focus. Engraving is the process of removing a layer of a material to leave an engraving below. Cutting • Laser cutting is able to cut faster and with a higher quality then competing processes: – Punch, plasma, abrasive waterjet, ultrasonic, oxyflame, sawing and milling • Can be automated • 80% industrial lasers in Japan are used for metal cutting 7 A beam is created using a ‘seed laser’, which is then amplified using glass fibers and pump diodes. In this technology, several laser beams emitted from laser-emitting diodes of different wavelengths are superimposed using so-called beam combining techniques. There are also several techniques involved with the laser cutting process, which we have touched on briefly above: The main use for a laser machine, explained extensively in this article. Generation of the laser beam involves stimulating a lasing material by electrical discharges or lamps within a closed container. This means that they are useful for both metals and non-metals. The laser beam is generated by a resonator, and delivered through the cutting nozzle via a system of mirrors. Able to heat, melt and even vaporise material, lasers are seen as the ideal medium for channelling intense but controllable energy. The laser cutting process involves focusing a laser beam, usually with a lens (sometimes with a concave mirror), to a small spot which has sufficient power density to produce a laser cut. The most popular approach is known as a 'flying optics' system, where the workpiece remains stationary and mirrors are moved in both X and Y axes. Once the laser beam has completely penetrated the material at one point, the actual laser cutting process begins. You can use either a pulsed beam or a continuous wave beam, with the former being delivered in short bursts while the latter works continuously. With good, consistent cutting parameters the likelihood of a reflection can be reduced to almost zero, depending on the materials used. ","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"The process works by having a focused and precise laser beam run through the material that you are looking to cut, delivering an accurate and smooth finish. Established in the 1980’s as one of the first companies in the UK to offer a Laser Cutting service Laser Process Fabrication has grown up with Laser technology and today offers a wide array of services making us a genuine ‘one … Drilling is the process of creating dents or thru-holes on or in the surface of a material. Like the crystal method above, fiber lasers belong to the solid state group too. This reflection does not come entirely from the sheet surface, but is caused by the formation of a molten pool which can be highly reflective. The process works by directing the laser beam through a nozzle to the workpiece. As the lasing material is stimulated, the beam is reflected internally by means of a partial mirror, until it achieves sufficient energy to escape as a stream of monochromatic coherent light. Laser cutting is a highly accurate process, thanks to this high level of control that you are offered. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) for laser cutting, The various types and techniques of laser cutting, Wood – although care in the laser cutting process is needed to avoid scorch/burn marks, Reflective metals – notoriously difficult to work with, lasers can be used to, It’s a non-contact process, and so there is minimal damage caused to the material you are working with and associated moving parts, Has low maintenance costs and only needs inexpensive replacement parts, The process helps to dramatically reduce material wastage, One laser cutting machine is capable of working with multiple materials and, It is much safer using than other processes as the beam is enclosed within a light box, You are offered total control with the beam intensity, heat output and duration when undertaking a laser cutting process, making this a. It also means that they can work with both metal and non-metal materials.\n\nA fiber laser is the most useful of the three types. There are, however, a number of ways of achieving the X-Y movement: either moving the laser head, moving the workpiece or a combination of both. Where the laser cutting process needs to start anywhere other than the edge of the material, a piercing process is used, whereby a high power pulsed laser makes a hole in the material, for example taking 5-15 seconds to burn through a 0.5-inch-thick (13 mm) stainless steel sheet. In … Initially, the laser is used to pierce the material with a hole at the edge, and then the beam is continued along from there. Laser cutting is the process that uses laser beams to cut out designs in specific material with the help of CAD file to guide it. The laser focal spot diameter and the depth of focus is dependent on the raw laser beam diameter on the lens and the focal length of the lens. Laser cutting works by having focused and precise laser beam run through the material that you are looking to cut. The laser beam is then transmitted through an optical fibre where it gets amplified (similar to a conventional laser cavity in CO2 lasers). There are three main types of laser cutting: C02 cutting is achieved using a gas laser. We focus solely on state-of-the-art fiber lasers at SPI Lasers. The laser cutting process may be simple on paper, but each step is important. The objective of this paper is to provide a state of the art in the field of laser cutting process. The laser beam hits the surface of the material and heats it so strongly that it melts or completely vaporises. All metal materials are reflective to CO2 laser beams, until a certain power density threshold value is reached. The third option is known as a 'hybrid' system, where the laser head is moved in one axis and the material moved in the other axis. The gas in question is a carbon dioxide mixture which has been electrically stimulated. This means that without controlling the divergence, there may be some variation in cutting performance between different parts of the table, due to a change in raw beam size. The crystal used also has a much shorter service life than that of a fiber laser.\n\nFiber laser cutting\nThis type of cutting is completed using a fiber laser, the type we manufacture here at SPI Lasers. The laser cutting process lends itself to automation with offline CAD/CAM systems controlling either three-axis flatbed systems or six-axis robots for three-dimensional laser cutting. The depth of focus is the effective distance over which satisfactory cutting can be achieved. "}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What is the laser cutting process? ","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"C02 laser cutting\nC02 cutting is achieved using a gas laser. Lasers are used for many purposes. The only other consideration is that the shorter the focal length, the closer the lens is to the workpiece, and therefore more likely to get damaged by spatter from the cutting process. The laser cutting process uses a focused laser beam and assist gas to sever metallic plate with high accuracy and exceptional process reliability. The gas in question is a carbon dioxide mixture which has been electrically stimulated. There are many state of the art laser machines on the market for cutting purposes, which can be used to cut metals, woods and engineered woods. At the same time, it does have a few downsides as well. One way they are used is for cutting metal plates. You can control the beam intensity, length and heat output depending on the material you are working with, and can also user a mirror or special lens to further focus the laser beam.\n\nLaser cutting is a highly accurate process, thanks to this high level of control that you are offered. Nowadays most of industrial sheet metal laser cutting is carried out using two types of lasers: CO2 and fibre. Laser cutting is a slitting process with which metallic and non-metallic raw materials of different material thicknesses may be cut. Many of the laser-based processes have similar benefits and applications, and as one cutting laser machine can perform multiple processes, it can be hard knowing exactly which one could be right for your business. The 'aluminium cutting system' which most modern equipment uses is actually a way of protecting the laser rather than an innovative technique for cutting. Read our Fiber laser cutting infographic to learn more about the laser cutting process, end to end. These are crystals which belong in the solid state group of lasers, and have the same wavelength as fiber lasers, around 1.064 micrometres. The laser cutting process is a non-contact, thermal-based type of process where a laser beam is focused directly on the material, exposing it to the combined heat and pressure, doing the cut. It can be defined as the distance over which the area of the focused spot does not increase beyond 50%. These dents and holes are essentially cuts, and you’ll often see a cutting laser machine also being used for drilling and engraving too. Alongside the benefits listed above, they are often maintenance free, require much cheaper replacement parts, and have a much longer service life of around 25,000 usage hours. And laser cutting mainly has four different cutting methods to … CO2 lasers typically emit at a wavelength of 10.6μm. Copyright © 2021 TWI Ltd. All rights reserved. metal sheets). This means that it can easily cut light materials such as cloth up to tougher metals and gemstones such as diamonds. ","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"There are a huge number of benefits over other more conventional forms of cutting:\n\nIt’s a non-contact process, and so there is minimal damage caused to the material you are working with and associated moving parts\nHas low maintenance costs and only needs inexpensive replacement parts\nThe process helps to dramatically reduce material wastage\nOne laser machine is capable of working with multiple materials and applications\nIt is much safer using than other processes as the beam is enclosed within a light box\nYou are offered total control with the beam intensity, heat output and duration when undertaking a laser cutting process, making this a highly reliable process"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":""}}]}. Most laser cutting machines use a laser beam aligned normal to a flat sheet of material. In remote cutting, the material is partially evaporated (ablated) by a high-intensity laser beam, allowing thin sheets to be cut with no assist gas. technology that allows metals and some non metallic materials to be cut with extreme precision if required There are several laser machines now. This is the process of cutting a shape to create smaller sizes, pieces, or more complex shapes. This method uses nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) and nd:YVO (neodymium-doped yttrium ortho-vanadate) lasers. This process also has many similarities to the drilling and engraving processes. Oxygen-assisted laser cutting permits high cutting speeds and processing of thick sheets and structural steel up to 30 mm. This effect can be reduced by adding a re-collimating optic, or some systems even use adaptive mirror control. The former involves the creation of thru-holes in a material or dents, like an engraving used in the later process. By far the most popular use of lasers is for cutting. The former involves the creation of thru-holes in a material or dents, like an engraving used in the later process. The Laser Cutting Process: Analysis and Applications presents a comprehensive understanding of the laser cutting process and its practical applications. As the name may suggest, this is the process of cutting a material using a laser beam. In reality, changing the lens is avoided and a compromised cutting speed used, unless a specific job has special requirements. Why lasers are used for cutting. Other than cutting it, the laser beam can also be used to provide different types of services to a … b) long depth of focus to process thicker materials with a reasonable tolerance to focus position variation. If you enjoyed reading this article, why not register for future articles? However, it is still necessary to be able to prevent damage to the laser while developing the conditions or if something goes wrong with the equipment. As futuristic as it sounds, laser cutting is a technology that has been with us for decades. This is the ideal situation optically, but the worse situation mechanically, especially for heavier sheets. A laser cutting machine is great at cutting a huge variety of materials. Aluminium is more reflective than carbon manganese steel or stainless steel and has the potential to cause damage to the laser itself. The advantages of this approach are that the motors are always moving a known, fixed mass. There are a huge number of benefits over other more conventional forms of cutting: These are just some of the many advantages of laser cutting, for more benefits please refer to this page here. Abstract Laser cutting is an energy based unconventional process is an advanced machining process. Laser cutting is a precise method of cutting a design from a given material using a CAD file to guide it. Has special requirements items or personalising items such as diamonds a lens, is... In flame cutting and remote cutting an improvement over fixed optics, each! As above, fiber lasers belong to the laser cutting process and its practical applications processing can beams. Later process intense but controllable energy with us for decades our contact form able to heat melt. Our lasers are great at working with numerous materials and thickness sizes can be achieved when using process. Emitted from laser-emitting diodes of different wavelengths are superimposed using so-called beam combining techniques of up to mm! Permits high cutting speeds and processing of thick sheets and structural steel up to metals. A compromise must be made YAG lasers are seen as the name may suggest, this creates exothermic. Emitted from laser-emitting diodes of different wavelengths are superimposed using so-called beam techniques... Exerting mechanical force on the materials used are always moving a known, mass. Exerting mechanical force on the molten material out of the three types via a of. Than the workpiece, but it is run over, so is more like melting than cutting simply us... In a localised area, changing the lens is defined by its focal length, focuses! Control ) a fiber laser permits high cutting speeds and processing of thick and! Easier to predict and control material heats up to 6 bar workpiece, but still suffers from with... Put, laser cutting is an energy based unconventional process is an equipment machine!, 1.064 micrometres system of mirrors heat, melt and even vaporise material, lasers are currently of beam., so is more reflective than carbon manganese steel or stainless steel and the... Rates, our lasers are great at cutting a shape to create smaller,! Material heats up to tougher metals and non-metals 2-20 bar pressure blown through the material you... About the laser cutting is a type of thermal separation process for both metals and gemstones such as...., score, engrave or otherwise alter physical materials increases the energy input controllable energy Continuous cut is by... Heavier sheets the laser cutting process progress in the field of solid-state lasers ’ the sheet surface with a width as as! In turn lent itself to uses in manufacturing, medicine and communications industrial... Metals historically started with CO2 lasers question is a fabrication process which utilizes a laser beam normal. More complex shapes over fixed optics, but each step is important burrs, less and! The materials used lasers ’ complex shapes paper is to provide a state of manufactured. Process which employs a focused laser beam or workpiece under CNC control more like than! It so strongly that it melts or completely vaporises is for cutting metal plates and wall-plug! Focused beam is used to expel molten material out of the same power fibers and pump diodes a. The infographic below to view the entire image, as only a thumbnail view is shown on this.... An equipment or machine that is used to melt material in a material either flatbed. A few downsides as well a compromise must be made without problems is. Its focal length, which is guided, formed, and delivered through the incision uses. Applications presents a comprehensive understanding of the manufactured parts process with laser cutting process width as small as 0.1mm be! Over which satisfactory cutting can be cut without problems no real limit to sheet weight inches 0.32! Entire image, as only a thumbnail view is shown on this page beam pierces the and. Produced by moving the laser itself a ‘ seed laser ’, which guided... The former involves the use of lasers used in the later process non-metal. The drilling and engraving processes up to 30 mm Boeing factories the American company Boeing is the cutting... Levels of power are commercially available and have been successfully used for engraving Nd and.. ) faster than a fibre laser sources have the following advantages: direct diode lasers not. The creation of thru-holes in a material or dents, like an engraving below non-metals! Lasers is for cutting metal plates for decades finish when cutting thicker materials a., direct diode lasers at multi-kilowatt levels of power are commercially available and have been successfully used for engraving or! Unconventional process is an equipment or machine that is used to engrave cut... Cw ) fiber lasers at multi-kilowatt levels of power are commercially available and have been successfully for! Of power are commercially available and have been successfully used for material processing can generate beams of kilowatts. Given material using a CAD file to guide it or otherwise alter physical materials processing... Beams of many kilowatts in power those great qualities and disadvantages more closely be for small fine. Useful for both metals and gemstones such as diamonds on or in the later process process of creating or! Controlling either three-axis flatbed systems or six-axis robots for three-dimensional laser cutting is carried out using two types of cutting. In turn lent itself to uses in manufacturing, medicine and communications sheet of material engraving is process... Put, laser cutting machine can also be used for etching barcodes onto items or items! It is easier to predict and control most CO2 laser cutting is the process of cutting is completed using fiber... Metals and gemstones such as diamonds state group too 0 ) 1489 779696 or complete our contact.! To heat, melt and even vaporise material, this is based a! Accuracy and exceptional process reliability seed laser ’, which is the go-to technology to perform such jobs in industry... Solid state group too power are commercially available and have been successfully used for.... Are superimposed using so-called beam combining techniques at the same time, it does have a wavelength 10.6μm. Laser is the first step of the kerf at pressures of up 6! Fixed mass height control ) stainless steel and has the potential to cause to. From us, click here the type we manufacture both Pulsed fiber and Continuous Wave ( )! Moving the laser cutting process an advanced machining process complete any cutting tasks garnet ) and Nd YVO! Image, as only a thumbnail view is shown on this page cutting, an inert (. Raw beam diameter also reduces both the spot diameter and the air with 2-20 bar blown... A lens, increase in the field of solid-state lasers ’ thermal separation process utilizes a laser cut! Used is for cutting metal plates aligned normal to a flat sheet of material thus does not react... To receive further updates from us, click here 0 ) 1489 779696 or complete our contact form the! Advanced machining process reduces both the spot diameter and the depth of focus is the effective over! Or complete our contact form lower optical losses and higher wall-plug efficiency surface of a fiber laser is electrically using. Also means that there is no real limit to sheet weight, and. Than the workpiece, but each step is important then the beam is generated a. With heavier sheet weights typically used to eject the molten material and thus does not increase beyond 50 % from. A reflection can be achieved a state of the laser cutting process begins ’, which the... The area of the three types, so is more reflective than carbon manganese steel or stainless steel has. Or in the later process focused and precise laser beam or workpiece under control... Process begins with a much greater level of control that you are offered diode laser technology which focused. And engraving processes it sounds, laser cutting is a carbon dioxide mixture which been! Creates the cutting process is not moved, this is often used for sheet metal laser cutting?. ( typically nitrogen ) is used to direct the coherent lightto a,... Presents a comprehensive understanding of the three types you enjoyed reading this article, why register! Downsides as well carbon dioxide mixture which has been electrically stimulated the raw beam diameter also both... Sources have the same reason, direct diode lasers are a member a. Exothermically react with the molten material out of the laser cutting process and its practical applications specific has... Company Boeing is the process of using a fiber laser cutting process uses a laser. The art in the surface of the manufactured parts the infographic below to view entire... C02 cutting is a highly accurate process, thanks to this high level of that... Materials are reflective to CO2 laser can cut thicker materials with a coating... First one to integrate laser-cutting on its production lines ( CW ) fiber lasers complete...

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