Laser cutting for metals: what it is and how it works


How Laser Cutting for Metals Works

Laser cutting for metals allows you to produce different categories of goods because metal is one of the most suitable materials for this type of processing. But how does laser cutting work? In general, the electromagnetic radiation of the laser is directed towards the metal to be cut through a lens. The actual cut in the metal is achieved by a nozzle fed by a coaxial gas stream. Laser cutting is a fundamental process in many sectors, including automotive, graphic arts, the medical sector, but also craft sectors such as woodworking and textile customization.

The different types of cutting based on the gas used

Depending on the type of gas used, there are different types of laser cutting:fiber laser cutting, CO2 laser cutting, diode laser cutting. Of these, fiber laser cutting is one of the most precise, allowing complex objects to be created without additional steps, such as bicycle gears, thanks to the fact that the fiber laser beam is finer and narrower than other gases. CO2 laser cutting, based on a carbon dioxide mixture, offers very high performance even on thick sheet metal. Diode laser cutting is among the fastest, up to 15% faster than fiber lasers, and guarantees lower energy consumption because the ratio between the power developed and that used for cutting is 50% lower than the other two types.

The composition of laser cutting machines

Laser cutting machines, or laser cutters, are numerically controlled machines (CNC), i.e. operated thanks to a software present on a computer. There are different types of laser machines, but all are composed of an oscillator, an axis system, and a shielded structure. The oscillator, also called the cutting head, receives the laser beam which is guided through a lens and reduced to a very fine beam. The axis system, which can also be robotic, holds the cutting head, while the shielded structure is necessary for worker protection.

2D, 3D laser, tubes cuttings: characteristics and uses

2D laser cutting is widely used to obtain shapes from a flat figure. Typically, it is used on sheet metal which will then be stamped, padded, folded.3D laser cutting allows you to obtain finished or semi-finished products, in a phase following the folding, printing and padding of the metal sheets. It is widely used in the automotive sector. Laser tube cutting requires the cutting head to be placed axially with respect to a tube inserted in a mandrel. For this type of cut it is essential to precisely adjust the power according to the pipe in order not to damage it.

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