Nov 17, 2017 Off Comments in Laser Cutting, Lasers by
The use of different laser types for laser cutting

Laser cutting technology has come a long way since 1965 when the first laser machine had been introduced. Nowadays, lasers are used in various industries for cutting a lot of different materials.

When deciding which laser to use for a particular task, one must list all the requirements they look for and search for them in these types of lasers.

There are three types of lasers:

  • The CO2 laser – used for engraving, cutting and boring.
  • The neodymium (Nd) laser – used when high energy and low repetition are required. Also used for boring.
  • The neodymium yttrium-aluminium-garnet (Nd-YAG) laser – same as the Nd laser when it comes to style but Nd-YAG is used for boring and engraving where high power is needed.

All three types of lasers can also be used for welding.

CO2 lasers are used for industrial  cutting of various materials such as wood, mild steel, glass, acrylic, leather, paper, wax, plastics, wood, and different fabrics.They are based on a carbon dioxide gas mixture stimulated by electricity. The most popular type of CO2 lasers are those which use the RF method or the radio frequency . The type of gas flow can affect the results of cutting as well.

While the CO2 lasers are gas lasers, Nd and Nd-YAG lasers are crystal lasers. They are mostly used for cutting metals and ceramics since they are more powerful. Pumped by diodes, these lasers contain very expensive parts which must be replaced after 8 000 to maximum 15 000 hours of use.

There are many different methods when it comes to cutting with lasers. Different methods are used to cut different material. Some of the methods include: melt and blow or fusion ( cutting metals metals ), vaporization cutting ( cutting wood, carbon and thermoset plastics ), thermal stress cracking ( cutting glass ) , reactive cutting ( cutting thick steel plates ) and stealth dicing of silicon wafers ( cutting silicon ).

Laser cutting technology has reduced human labor with its computer- controlled machinery. No manual work whatsoever is necessary when it comes to operating a laser cutting machine which makes it quite user- friendly. Most commonly used for laser cutting are the CO2 lasers because they are  the most effective but, again, everything depends on the requirements you set for your laser supplier. Any of these types of lasers will provide high quality results which you expect because this technology is way above any other process of cutting material. There might be more inventions in the field of laser cutting in the next several years that are worth waiting for!