In the case of oxygen cutting, the material is heated by a focused laser beam and burnt by adding oxygen. The energy which is thereby released supports the cutting process considerably and leads to high cutting speeds.
In contrast, fusion cutting is based on melting of the material and its subsequent blasting off with inert gas - such as nitrogen - under high pressure.
Since the gas beam simultaneously prevents oxidization of the surface, this procedure is used when oxide-free cuts in stainless steel are required.
VARIETY OF APPLICATIONS
Further applications include cuts in sheets of aluminum alloys and non-ferrous alloys melting at high temperatures. Ideal focus sizes for laser cutting of thin sheet metals are 0.2 - 0.5 mm. Diode lasers of the latest generation achieve this up into the multi-kW range.
- Non-contact, thermal process
- Economic production of small batches
- Combination with welding possible
- 3D processing using fiber optic cables
- Cost-effective in investment and operation
- Beam quality always as good as required
Due, in particular, to the unmatched electrical efficiency of more than 35 percent, diode lasers represent the ideal synthesis of beam quality and economic efficiency. The compactness of the diode laser provides laser technology with a mobility not previously known for this application.
Whether they use fibers of 200, 400 or 600 pm, Laserline diode lasers can always be adapted to suit the requirements of the application. Also the typical power range for cutting applications is met by diode lasers in an ideal way and a combination with welding is possible.
MODERN CUTTING TECHNOLOGY
Together with cutting optics of leading manufacturers - which are otherwise used for conventional lasers - diode lasers make a decisive contribution to modern cutting technology when it comes to problem-free and efficient production
Whereas in the past, mechanical and thermal processes - such as punching or plasma cutting - were used exclusively, in recent years laser technology has fundamentally changed the methods of sheet metal cutting. In particular, laser procedures offer unmatched flexibility. A broad range of cutting operations is therefore carried out with the use of lasers.
The advantages over conventional procedures include the non-contact cutting process at high cutting speeds. Complex parts with the highest requirements regarding dimensional accuracy and freedom from burr can be produced very economically using diode lasers, even for small batches.
Because of the wavelength in the middle infrared range, CO2 lasers can be used only in combination with mirror systems. They are therefore essentially restricted to 2 D applications. At the same time, this type of laser has a lower efficiency than diode lasers.
For 3 D applications, in which an optical fiber is frequently guided by a robot, often conventional solid state lasers are used. However, they only have a very low efficiency of about 3 percent. As a laser with the greatest efficiency, the diode laser attains comparable cutting results, but is, due to its tenfold greater level of efficiency, much more economical.