Types of Laser Cutting Machines

Laser cutting machines are primarily used in industry for a variety of purposes including cutting sheet metal and structural items such as pipes. there are three basic types of these machines. They are the CO2 laser, the neodymium (Nd) laser, and the neodymium yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd-YAG) laser. these all are used for different applications.

The CO2 laser is the normally the only one that is used for actual cutting. The Nd laser is primarily only used for boring because it is a very high-energy laser which should only be used for projects with low repetition. The ND-YAG laser can be used for boring and engraving, as can the CO2. there are a variety of different styles of cutting with lasers, regardless of the type. Some examples include thermal stress cracking, scribing, and vaporization.

The thermal stress cracking method is used for materials that tend to fracture easily. The laser beam causes thermal expansion which results in the breaking of the item. this is most commonly used on glass. Scribing has most recently been introduced in producing thin film solar panels. The laser etches the micro channels into the panels which allow them to be connected. Vaporization is another method for which lasers are used. this is simply when the laser produces enough heat to boil the material and make a hole. The best items for this process include wood and carbon.

There are a large variety of laser cutting machines available. Which one is chosen will depend on its primary use. Some lasers can be used with multiple types of materials as well as be used in a variety of different ways. Other machines will only have one primary use, and those would be best suited for a company that produces one thing such as sheet metal products. A laser machine can be a big expense, but in the long run will pay for itself many times over.

Types of Laser Cutting Machines

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