The Different Types Of Laser Machines
It is sometimes difficult to decide which laser cutter is best for your needs with so many choices in the market today. The function of an industrial laser cutter is to perform various cutting applications on metals parts
However, there are many different variations of these machines that are made for different applications. The three main types of laser cutters include: CO2, neodymium (Nd), and neodymium yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd-YAG).
Boring, cutting, and engraving are some of the functions of a CO2 laser. This is among the most common laser cutting equipment used in production and fabrication facilities today due to its versatility. Cutting mild steel, titanium, stainless steel, aluminum, paper, wood, plastic, wax, and fabric are some of the common uses of CO2 lasers.
They can also be generated using energy created by a radio frequency despite being functioned by a current passed through a mix of carbon dioxide, helium, and nitrogen gasses. Because the radio frequency method causes less electrode erosion compared to other method this is becoming increasingly popular.
Nd laser cutters are specially designed for boring functions requiring high energy, This type of machine tool also has a much lower repetition speed compared to the other types of laser machinery.
Nd-YAG is specially designed for even higher powered boring, engraving, and metal trimming applications.If are in need for a higher powered boring, engraving, and metal trimming, it is best to use the Nd-YAG. This type of cutter is very similar to the neodymium version.This type of cutter has similar qualities with the neodymium version. Their main functions are to process ceramic and various metals.
Another type of laser cutter that is for sale in the market today is the laser micro jet which uses a combination of laser and water jet to cut material. The functions of a water jet is not only limited to guiding the laser as it cuts, it is also used to remove debris and to cool the workplace during the cutting process. This type of material cutting tool has several advantages over other laser cutting machinery including increased cutting speed, cleaner cuts, and improved fracture strength of cut materials.
Aside from the different types of machines, there are also a variety of laser cutting processes that are being used in the industry today. Some of these processes include: reactive and vaporizing cutting, thermal stress cracking, fusion cutting, and silicon wafer stealth dicing.
Reactive cutting basically uses a laser beam to cut similarly to that of an oxygen torch. This process is very useful when cutting thin and thick materials with low amounts of energy.
Vaporizing cutting on the other hand uses a focused beam of energy essential to heat the surface of the workshop to a melting point.Another process that uses a focused laser beam of energy to heat the surface if the workplace to a melting point is vaporizing cutting. Because if this,this is the most common cutting method for materials that are unable to melt (like wood and carbon.)
Thermal stress crackling is used on brittle materials to form a surface crack, this is later on guided by the laser. This is commonly used in glass cutting.
Determining the right laser cutter and method depends greatly on the material and the requirements of the project.