What is Laser Cutting?
- Laser cutting is a non-traditional machining method that uses an intensely focused, coherent stream of light called a laser to cut through the material. Laser drilling, on the other hand, is another type of laser machining process that produces a hole through the workpiece achieved by different techniques.
- A laser beam is generated by using a high-intensity light source or electrical discharge device to excite atoms or molecules inside a lensing medium. This lensing medium produces cascading excitations which result in the production of photons. The photons are then resonated and partially released. The released photons become the laser cutting beam.
- Lensing media used for laser cutting are CO2, crystals, and fiber-optics.
- There are four main methods to produce a cut or hole. These are sublimating, melting, reacting, and thermal stress fracturing. Each of these methods has its application.
- Laser drilling can be done by single-shot, percussion, trepanning, and helical drilling. Single-shot and percussion laser drilling produce holes at a higher rate than the other two processes. Trepanning and helical drilling, on the other hand, produce more accurate and higher quality holes.
- Laser cutting machines can be classified according to the movement of the laser relative to the workpiece. These are moving material, flying optics, and hybrid systems.