Laser cutting is a modern technology in which a high-powered laser is directed at the desired surface to cut different shapes and forms. The material usually burns or melts, leaving a high-quality surface finish. Since there is no direct contact between the laser and the surface in use, the level of precision and accuracy in the laser cutting process is much more as compared to conventional methods.
Due to its accuracy and efficiency, laser cutting is used to cut a wide variety of materials. Metal is one such common application. Since ancient times, metals have been widely used for a number of purposes. From weapons and ornaments to construction and packing material, the importance of metals in our day-to-day lives cannot be denied. Today, with the development of fiber optics and information technology, metals have gained a highly specific role. Since conventional processing methods cannot suffice all these modern requirements, laser cutting is being extensively used in metal processing.
Apart from the normal CO2 laser used in most processes, metal cutting employs the use of three other processes, namely Oxygen cutting, Nitrogen cutting and Sublimation cutting. The oxygen process creates more heat on account of the reaction between the metal and the gas. The extra heat assists in the cutting process. On the other hand, when an inert gas like nitrogen is used for cutting the metal, additional power is required.
Since metals are good conductors and reflectors of heat, the intensity of the laser needs to be altered, depending upon the nature of the metal. The laser beam is guided around the metal surface to get the desired shape.
Sheet metal laser cutter offers several advantages over the other processes such as plasma cutting, water-jet cutting and flame cutting. The laser process is not only faster than the other methods, but also offers unparalleled levels of accuracy and quality. The chances of damaging the surface being cut are also reduced.