Let’s Know In Detail How Does Laser Cutting Work
Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to slice/cut different materials for both industrial manufacturing applications, schools, small businesses, and hobbyists’ purposes using CAD or any graphic designing software to guide it. It is a non-contact process which utilizes a laser to create intricate designs on smaller parts, which result in clean, accurate, andhigh-quality cuts. Laser-cut designs are so neat and clean that it looks like someone has spent a lot of days to prepare this design, and it is hard to accept that a machine prepares the intricate design. The advantages of laser cutting are precision,excellent quality, repeatability, speed, cost-effectiveness, and automation. Although used in almost every industry, laser cutting does have its downsides such as the need of expertise, limitations to metal thickness, costs, and harmful fumes are all things to consider before turning to laser cutting.
Let usgo into the detail of how laser cutting works:
There are different types of laser cutters, but they all fundamentally use the same process of laser cutting. Laser cutting machines vary from model to model and application to application. The typical laser machine setup includes assembly, laser resonator, and a laser cutting head which contains a pressurized gas assembly, a laser focusing lens, and a nozzle. The laser cutting process includes the following stages:
- Beam generation
- Beam focusing
- Localized heating and melting
- Material ejection
- Beam movement
Beam generation: The laser resonator services the process of spontaneous emission and stimulated emission to produce a high-intensity beam of light.
- Spontaneous emission: The laser resonator contains an active laser medium such as CO2,the electrons accelerated by an external energy source, likea flash lamp or electrical arc. As the medium receives and absorbs energy, the atom’s electrons start jumping to high energy levels and then return to their ground state. This process is called spontaneous emission. Upon the electrons’ return to their ground state, the atom emits a photon of light.
- Stimulated emission: The process in which a photon stimulates an atom that is already at a higher energy level. This interaction forces the stimulated atom to drop to its ground state by emitting a second photon of the same fixed wavelength or coherent with the incident photon is known as stimulated emission.
The process of one photon circulating the emission of another photon amplifies the strength and intensity of the light beam. Thus, the stimulated emission of light photons causes the amplification of light. Wrongly aligned photons within the resonator pass through the moderately transmissive mirror without being reflected into the medium, generating the initial laser beam,which sends out a beam of intense light,reflecting through a system of mirrors to the cutting head.
Beam Focusing: Focusing the laser beam can be done by a unique lens or by a curved mirror through the centre of the nozzle at the end of the laser cutting head. By focusing the beam, the lens distillates the beam’s energy into a smaller spot, which increases the beam’s intensity. The beam is focused, so the shape of the focus spot and the density of the energy of the spot is perfectly round and steady. When we focus the large beam down to a single pinpoint, the heat density at that spot is extreme, which will help increase the temperature of that spot. For the laser to cut, the focal point of the lens, where the laser would be at its finest, needs to be on the surface of the material it is cutting through. To ensure that the laser cuts well, all the laser cutters need a focusing method before making their cut.
Localized heating and melting: As the beam strikes the material’s surface, the material absorbs the radiation, increasing the internal energy and generating heat—the high-powerconcentration results in heating, which results in melting and partially or entirelyvanishing the material. The deterioration and removal of the affected area of the material forms the desired cuts.
Material Ejection:On a CNC laser cutter, the laser cutting head is moved over the metal plate in the shape of the desired part, thus cutting the part out of the plate. Laser cutting employs several different types of cutting and removal procedures, such as chemical degradation cutting, fusion cutting, scribing, evaporation cutting, and oxidation cutting. When cutting stainless steel or aluminium, the laser beam melts the material, and high-pressure nitrogen is used to blow the molten metal,resulting in the desired shape or design.
Beam movement: Once the melting or vaporizing has started, the machine moves around the material to produce the full cut.The machine accomplishes the movement either by adjusting the reflective mirrors, controlling the laser cutting head, or manipulating the workpiece. There are three different structures for laser cutting machines, defined by how the laser beam moved over the material
- Flying Optics: Flying optics laser cutting machines contain a stationary workpiece and a movable laser cutter head. The cutting head pushes the beam across the stationary workpiece in the X- and Y-axes to produce the required cuts. The elasticity of flying optics machines is suitable for cutting materials with variable thicknesses and sizes andthe material that needs to be processed fast. However, since the beam is continually moving, the changing beam length must be taken into consideration throughout the process.
- Moving material: Moving material laser cutting machines includes a stationary laser beam and a movable cutting surface to which the material is attached. The material is mechanically moved around the stationary beam to produce the desired cuts. This configuration requires some optical components and consistent standoff distance
- Hybrid: Hybrid laser cutting machines offer a combination of the attributes found on optical machines and moving material. These machines contain a material handling table that moves on one of the axis (which is usually the X-axis) and a laser head that moves on another axis (which is generally the Y-axis).
ACCU GROUP can provide laser services cutting almost and shape to suit your needs.We have a range of laser cutting machines that can fulfilmost customer’sneeds with a range of high power, fast fibre laser machines providing a high-quality laser profiling service with perfect laser cuts.