Laser cutting is applied for different kinds of materials where complex contours demand precise, fast and force-free processing. Lasers create narrow kerfs and thus achieve high-precision cuts. This method does not show any distortion and in many cases post-processing is not necessary as the component is subject to only little heat input and can mostly be cut dross-free.
There are three different cutting processes:
Basically, metal laser cutting is effected by locally heating the material at the focal point of the focused laser beam above its melting point. The resulting molten material is ejected either by a coaxial gas jet or the induced vapor pressure, thus forming the cut kerf.
The cut geometry, cycle time, system technology and, above all, the material composition are the crucial factors for the decision which laser source to chose.
1. Laser Fusion Cutting
In principle, both high power CO2 and solid-state lasers are suited for this kind of applications. Providing higher average power, CO2 lasers are an excellent option for the separation of thicker cross sections.
Here, too, both high power CO2 and solid-state lasers are applied. Providing higher average power, CO2 lasers are an excellent option for the separation of thicker cross sections.
Since the cutting depth in a single-pass is typically in the range of some 10 microns, thicker materials are separated by the so-called multi-pass process. Commonly, material thicknesses that can be cut economically do not exceed 1 mm.
Here, mostly solid-state lasers are employed for metals, ceramics, or diamond and CO2 lasers are applied for ceramics and plastics. Pure sublimation cutting processes, that means the direct transition from solid to gas state, are applied for cutting of wood and PMMA.
Besides the already named materials and applications the laser cuts also ceramic, graphite, nonferrous metals such as titanium and brass, leather, abrasive paper and many more materials. Many plastics, wood and paper can only be cut with the CO2 laser as they are too transparent for the solid-state lasers. Metals can be cut with the CO2 laser as well as with the solid-state laser. The list of all cutting applications installed by ROFIN would go beyond the scope. Our employees are happy to inform you about the details of your application.