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laser-cutter-cutting-metalLaser cutting is the process of using a laser machine, programmed to cut into materials. This process is usually used for industrial manufacturing applications, but has recently become more popular in schools and even with hobbyists. The laser cutting can be used to cut patterns into thinner sheets of metal or to cut structural designs into industrial and piping materials.

Laser cutting is becoming more popular because it is more exact than other forms of cutting and leaves a smooth, clean edge. There are three main types of lasers that are used in laser cutting, they are:

 

Carbon Dioxide Laser: These are used for industrial cutting of many materials including mild steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and much more. The CO2 laser is suited best for cutting, boring and engraving.

 

Neodymium Laser (Nd)/ Neodymium yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd-YAG): Nd and Nd-YAG lasers are identical in structure, but have different applications. The Nd laser is used for boring and where high energy but low repetition are required. However, the Nd-YAG laser is used where very high power is needed and for boring and engraving. Both Nd lasers and Nd-Yag lasers can be used for welding.

 

Laser microjet: This laser is different than the others in the fact that is it water-jet guided and is not guided by gas. This is for materials much like optical fiber. Advantages with this laser over the others is that the water clears away debris better than the “dry” laser methods and also the water cools the material so there is not as long of a cooling period.
There are other forms of lasers used in laser cutting but these are the main ones. Laser cutting is becoming a vital part of industrial manufacturing. Just ask Laser Technologies, a manufacturing company in Illinois whose core competency is laser cutting.

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