Laser cutting materials
Laser cutting is a thermal process in which the absorbed energy heats up the material and causes its transformation to another state, typically molten state or vapor.Ask an expert
Why use a laser for cutting materials?
Fast and reliable technology
Laser cutting allows the efficient and rapid cutting of many materials at very high speeds. The non contact cutting offered by laser cutting machines reduces part wear, often yielding to much longer machine life.
Low maintenance, low consumables costs
Laser cutting systems are very low maintenance and have low consumable costs. They require no blade sharpening or additional tooling maintenance.
Enhanced versatility and productivity
Laser cutting systems are a very interesting alternative to die cutting techniques. Cutting shapes can be easily and instantaneously changed through software. They can reduce downtime related to die change.
Low energy consumption
New fiber laser based technologies and even CO2 laser based laser sources are now much more energy efficient and offer low electrical consumption.
Laser cutting of materials
Laser cutting is performed by moving a focused laser beam along a workpiece. The heat affected material is often removed with the help of an ejection gas blown out in the kerf through a nozzle centered on the laser beam. For thin materials like fabric or plastic films, there is no need for an ejection gas to remove the ablated material.
The choice of the laser cutting technology will be made based on the application requirements. The different choices available concern the type of laser source (CO2 or fiber laser) and the beam displacement system technology (XY table or galvo scan head). Galvo scan heads are used for very thin materials and small areas. XY tables are used for thicker materials and when a large area needs to be covered. The material thickness and the cutting speed requirements are the main parameters that set the power level requirements for the laser cutting machine.
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