Laser cutting process on a sheet of steel
CAD (top) and stainless steel laser-cut part (bottom)
Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to vaporize materials, resulting in a cut edge. While typically used for industrial manufacturing applications, it is now used by schools, small businesses, architecture, and hobbyists. Laser cutting works by directing the hasil of a high-power laser most Jasa Laser Cutting Medan commonly through optics. The laser optics and CNC (computer numerical control) Jasa Laser Cutting Medan are used to direct the material or the laser beam generated. A commercial laser for cutting materials uses a motion control system to follow a CNC or G-code of the pattern to be cut onto the material. The focused laser beam is directed at thematerial, which then either melts, burns, vaporizes away, or is blown away by a jet of gas, leaving an edge with a high-quality surface finish.[dua]History
In 1965, the first production laser cutting machine was used to drill holes in diamond dies. This machine was made by the Western Electric Engineering Research Center.[tiga] In 1967, the British pioneered laser-assisted oxygen jet cutting for metals. In the early 1970s, this technology was put into production to cut titanium for aerospace applications. At the same time CO2 lasers were adapted to cut non-metals, such as textiles, because, at the time, CO2 lasers were not powerful enough to overcome the thermal conductivity of metals.Process
Industrial laser cutting of steel with cutting instructions programmed through the CNC interface
Generation of the laser beam involves stimulating a lasing material by electrical discharges or lamps within a closed container. As the lasing material is stimulated, the beam is reflected internally by means of a partial mirror, until it achieves sufficient energy to escape as a stream of monochromatic coherent light. Mirrors or fiber optics are typically used to direct the coherent light to a lens, which focuses the light at the work zone. The narrowest part of the focused beam is generally less than 0.0125 inches (0.32 mm) in diameter. Depending upon material thickness, kerf widths as small as 0.004 inches (0.10 mm) are possible. In order to be able to start cutting from somewhere other than the edge, a pierce is done before every cut. Piercing usually involves a high-power pulsed laser beam which slowly makes a hole in the material, taking around 5–15 seconds for 0.5-inch-thick (13 mm) stainless steel, for example.
The parallel rays of coherent light from the laser source often fall in the range between 0.06–0.08 inches (1.lima–2.0 mm) in diameter. This beam is normally focused and intensified by a lens or a mirror to a very small spot of about 0.001 inches (0.025 mm) to create a very intense laser beam. In order to achieve the smoothest possible finish during contour cutting, the direction of beam polarization must be rotated as it goes around the periphery of a contoured workpiece. For sheet metal cutting, the focal length is usually 1.5–3 inches (38–76 mm).
Advantages of laser cutting over mechanical cutting include easier workholding and reduced contamination of workpiece (since there is no cutting edge which can become contaminated by the material or contaminate the material). Precision may be better, since the laser beam does not wear during the process. There is also a reduced chance of warping the material that is being cut, as laser systems have a small heat-affected zone. Some materials are also very difficult or impossible to cut by more traditional means.
Laser cutting for metals has the advantages over plasma cutting of being more precise and using less energy when cutting sheet metal; however, most industrial lasers cannot cut through the greater metal thickness that plasma can. Newer laser machines operating at higher power (6000 watts, as contrasted with early laser cutting machines’ 1500 watt ratings) are approaching plasma machines in their ability to cut through thick materials, but the capital cost of such machines is much higher than that of plasma cutting machines capable of cutting thick materials like steel plate.Types
There are three main types of lasers used in laser cutting. The CO2 laser is suited for cutting, boring, and engraving. The neodymium (Nd) and neodymium yttrium-aluminium-garnet (Nd:YAG) lasers are identical in style and differ only in application. Nd is used for boring and where high energy but low repetition are required. The Nd:YAG laser is used where very high power is needed and for boring and engraving. Both CO2 and Nd/Nd:YAG lasers can be used for welding.
CO2 lasers are commonly “pumped” by passing a current through the gas mix (DC-excited) or using radio frequency energy (RF-excited). The RF method is newer and has become more popular. Since DC designs require electrodes inside the cavity, they can encounter electrode erosion and plating of electrode material on glassware and optics. Since RF resonators have external electrodes they are not prone to those problems.CO2 lasers are used for industrial cutting of many materials including titanium, stainless steel, mild steel, aluminium, plastic, wood, engineered wood, wax, fabrics, and paper. YAG lasers are primarily used for cutting and scribing metals and ceramics.
In addition to the power source, the type of gas flow can affect performance as well. Common variants of CO2 lasers include fast axial flow, slow axial flow, transverse flow, and slab. In a fast axial flow resonator, the mixture of carbon dioxide, helium and nitrogen is circulated at high velocity by a turbine or blower. Transverse flow lasers circulate the gas mix at a lower velocity, requiring a simpler blower. Slab or diffusion cooled resonators have a static gas field that requires no pressurization or glassware, leading to savings on replacement turbines and glassware.
The laser generator and external optics (including the focus lens) require cooling. Depending on system size and configuration, waste heat may be transferred by a coolant or directly to air. Water is a commonly used coolant, usually circulated through a chiller or heat transfer Jasa Laser Cutting system.
A laser microjet is a water-jet guided laser in which a pulsed laser beam is coupled into a low-pressure water jet. This is used to perform laser cutting functions while using the water jet to guide the laser beam, much like an optical fiber, through total internal reflection. The advantages of this are that the water also removes debris and cools the material. Additional advantages over traditional “dry” laser cutting are high dicing speeds, parallel kerf, and omnidirectional cutting.
Fiber lasers are a type of solid state laser that is rapidly growing within the metal cutting industry. Unlike CO2, Fiber technology utilizes a solid gain medium, as opposed to a gas or liquid. The “seed laser” produces the laser beam and is then amplified within a glass fiber. With a wavelength of only 1064 nanometers fiber lasers produce an extremely small spot size (up to 100 times smaller compared to the CO2) making it ideal for cutting reflective metal material. This is one of the main advantages of Fiber compared to CO2.
Fibre laser cutter benefits include:-Rapid processing times.Reduced energy consumption & bills – due to greater efficiency.Greater reliability and performance – no optics to adjust or align and no lamps to replace.Minimal maintenance.The ability to process highly reflective materials such as copper and brassHigher productivity – lower operational costs offer a greater return on your investment.Methods
There are many different methods in cutting using lasers, with different types used to cut different material. Some of the methods are vaporization, melt and blow, melt blow and burn, thermal stress cracking, scribing, cold cutting and burning stabilized laser cutting.Vaporization cutting
In vaporization cutting the focused beam heats the surface of the material to flashpoint point and generates a keyhole. The keyhole leads to a sudden increase in absorptivity quickly deepening the hole. As the hole deepens and the material boils, vapor generated erodes the molten walls blowing eject out and further enlarging the hole. Non melting material such as wood, carbon and thermoset plastics are usually cut by this method.Melt and blow
Melt and blow or fusion cutting uses high-pressure gas to blow molten material from the cutting area, greatly decreasing the power requirement. First the material is heated to melting point then a gas jet blows the molten material out of the kerf avoiding the need to raise the temperature of the material any further. Materials cut with this process are usually metals.Thermal tertekan cracking