How does laser cutting work?

Laser cutting is regarded as one of the fastest and most accurate methods of cutting exceptionally hard materials such as steel and aluminum.

With a tiny kerf width and heat affect zone laser cutting enables us to cut very intricate shapes and tiny holes. So, how does light have the power to cut through thick steel plate?

How a sheet metal laser cutter works

A laser cutting beam is made up of very high-intensity light constructed of a single wavelength.The laser travels from the laser resonator via a specific path before the focused laser beam goes through a nozzle just before it hits the target surface or plate. In addition, a compressed gas such as Nitrogen or Oxygen will flow through the nozzle.

The high power cutting laser results in extremely fast heating, leading to melting and possibly complete vaporizing of the target material itself. When our cutting machines cut mild steel, the heat starts a typical “oxy-fuel” burning process, just like an oxy-fuel torch. When cutting stainless steel or aluminum, the laser actually melts the material, and nitrogen blows the molten metal out of the kerf.

On a standard CNC laser cutting machine, the laser head is moved over the target metal plate in the requested design pattern – as a result, the design is cut out of the sheet metal plate. The height of the cutting beam is kept consistent throughout as the quality of the cut will almost certainly be affected by raising or lowering the focal point.

In addition to the height, there are very many additional factors that affect cut quality. This is why the Emsea team use the highest quality equipment and machinery to produce an exceptionally high quality end product, with incredible accuracy and efficiency. If you have a project on the horizon that potentially involves laser cutting as part of the process, then why not get in touch with the Emsea team today for advice and a free quotation.