Per Bystronic, “the laser beam is created by the laser source (resonator), conducted by a transport fiber or mirrors in the machine cutting head where a lens focuses it at very high power on a very small diameter. This focused laser beam meets the sheet metal and melts it.”
LASER CUTTING BASICS
Laser cutting is commonly used throughout various industries because it allows for clean precision cuts in metals such as carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and various other materials.
While laser cutting is well suited for high production runs, sometimes, fabrication shops will laser cut a prototype part to test specific features and to address any defects within the initial design. Since lasers provide precision cuts that can be performed at a high rate of repetition, any adjustments that were made to the prototype will be applied on a production run.
TYPES OF LASER CUTTING SYSTEMS
While there are other types available, lasers are typically classified as Fiber or CO₂.
Fiber lasers are proven to be one of the most efficient laser cutting options. With fiber laser cutting, the beam is produced by an active fiber and then transmitted across a transport fiber to the cutting head within the machine. Even though the footprint is smaller than that of a CO₂, fiber lasers can generate several times the power from the same amount of electrical current.
A fiber cutting system is primarily suited for processing thin to thick sheet metal from steel, stainless steel, aluminum, as well as non-ferrous metals such as copper and brass. Fiber lasers are also well suited to cut highly reflective materials due to the lack of optics in the cutting head.
With CO₂ lasers, a gas mixture is used to create the high-intensity laser beam. At the start of this laser cutting process, the system creates a beam of light and focuses it on the outlet by using mirrors. These mirrors form a resonator which increases the light energy in the beam. The machine cutting head has a nozzle within it which directs and controls the beam onto the working surface. The focused laser beam then melts the metal.
Even though the technology is older than the Fiber, CO2 lasers still play a critical role in fabrication shops tackling heavier materials and providing a smoother cut.
WALKUP COMPANY KNOWS LASER CUTTING
Walkup Company has been providing precision laser cutting services in Houston and Gulf Coast area since 1994. We are capable of laser cutting Carbon, Stainless, or Aluminum up to 3/4″ in thickness using Fiber and CO₂ technology. We are one of the most qualified laser cutting companies in the Houston area and have 3 quality and reliable lasers to handle your projects. Contact our team today to discuss your next custom laser cutting project or if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of laser cutting when compared to waterjet cutting or plasma cutting.