How Does Laser Cutting Work?
Laser cutting are used for many purposes.
One way they are used is for cutting metal plates.
On mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum plate, the laser cutting process is highly accurate.
It yields excellent cut quality and has a very small kerf width and small heat affect zone.
And makes it possible to cut very intricate shapes and small holes.
Most people already know that the word “LASER” is actually an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
But how does light cut through a steel plate?
1.How Laser cutting works
In fact, the laser cutting beam is a column of very high intensity light, of a single wavelength, or color.
In the case of a typical CO2 laser, that wavelength is in the Infra-Red part of the light spectrum.
So laser cutting is invisible to the human eye.
It may be bounced in different directions by a number of mirrors, or “beam benders”, before it is finally focused onto the plate.
The focused laser beam goes through the bore of a nozzle right before it hits the plate.
Also flowing through that nozzle bore is a compressed gas, such as Oxygen or Nitrogen.
The beam has to be precisely focused so that the shape of the focus spot and the density of the energy in that spot are perfectly round and consistent, and centered in the nozzle.
By focusing the large beam down to a single pinpoint, the heat density at that spot is extreme.
Think about using a magnifying glass to focus the sun’s rays onto a leaf, and how that can start a fire.
Now think about focusing 6 KWatts of energy into a single spot, and you can imagine how hot that spot will get.