How Does Laser Cutting Work?
We use Laser cutting for many purposes.
One way we use it for cutting metal plates.
On mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum plate, the laser cutting process is highly accurate.
It yields excellent cut quality, has a very small kerf width and small heat affect zone.
Besides, it 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 does laser cutting works?
The laser 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 it is invisible to the human eye.
The beam is only about 3/4 of an inch in diameter as it travels from the laser resonator.
It creates the beam, through the machine’s beam path.
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.
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.
The high power density results in rapid heating, melting and partial or complete vaporizing of the material.
When laser cutting mild steel, the heat of the laser beam is enough to start a typical “oxy-fuel” burning process.
And the laser cutting gas will be pure oxygen, just like an oxy-fuel torch.
When cutting stainless steel or aluminum, the laser beam simply melts the material.