What is laser cutting?
Laser cutting, also known as laser beam cutting, is a thermal cutting process for sheet material. The laser beam is used here to cut through solids. The process is characterized by its wide range of materials. Processing takes place without contact and is used where extensive contours require precise, fast processing without the use of force.
How does a laser system work?
A laser can be used in a variety of ways, it can be used for cutting, welding, drilling or even engraving. Especially in laser cutting, all the advantages of the laser come into play. A bundled laser beam serves as a cutting tool during processing, which is generated by means of gases or crystals. This intense laser beam is amplified by a line system like a burning glass and focused precisely on a small area of the workpiece, creating a high energy density at this point. As a result, the material melts or vaporizes at this point and the cutting process begins. With the help of the gas jet, which exits the nozzle together with the laser beam, the removed material is blown out of the kerf. The laser power and the cutting speed depend on the material being processed and the material thickness. To achieve optimum results, the laser power must be increased and the cutting speed reduced as the material thickness increases.
What laser cutting processes are available?
Depending on the material and application, laser cutting is divided into different processes:
Laser cutting: Oxygen is used here as the cutting gas. The material is burned here by the oxygen and oxides are formed at the cut edges.
Fusion cutting: Inert (nitrogen) or inert gases (argon) are used as cutting gases here. The material to be cut is driven out of the kerf under high pressure with the cutting gas jet.
Sublimation cutting: The material vaporizes immediately due to the high energy density. This process is mainly used to cut non-metallic materials such as wood, textiles or plastics. The cutting gas (e.g. nitrogen) is used to prevent the materials from igniting.
Advantages and disadvantages of laser cutting
Lasers can be used to cut a wide variety of different materials safely and with high quality, such as steel, aluminum and stainless steel to non-metallic materials like plastic, glass, wood or acrylic. This broad spectrum makes the laser the most popular cutting tool for many applications in the metallic and non-metallic sectors. In addition, the process also convinces with the fact that the bundled laser beam heats the material only locally and thus the cutting gap is very small. Complex, filigree contours can be cut precisely, smoothly and without burrs, and time-consuming post-processing is no longer necessary in most cases. Therefore, laser cutting is one of the most economical and flexible processes today. The disadvantages of this process are the high energy consumption and the high purchase costs for a machine.
Our services here in Landshut include laser processing. The machine portfolio includes a laser cutting system (600 x 300mm processing area) on which a wide variety of materials can be cut and individually engraved. In the past, ringbach was already able to successfully market customized laser engraving products online with the platform INDIVYOU. For an individual inquiry, please feel free to contact us at any time, we will be happy to advise you!