Why adopt laser cutting technologies?

The ability to fulfill the demands of your various clients can be a key factor in the success of your business. Thanks to the introduction of laser cutting technology, companies are able to satisfy the demand of high-quality metal cuts. Therefore, metal fabricators should turn to laser cutting technology if they want to stay competitive and handle an ever-increasing range of metal cutting projects. 

The basic mechanics of metal laser cutting

You probably know that the term 'laser' is the abbreviation for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. However, how does a beam of light cut through a metal plate? Basically, the laser beam is a stream of extremely high intensity light, of a sole wavelength or colour. The beam is often reflected in various directions by multiple mirrors before it's ultimately focussed onto the metal plate. The sharp beam passes through a bore nozzle prior to hitting the metal plate. Also compressed gas, such as Nitrogen and Oxygen flows through that nozzle bore.

Focussing the beam

For purposes of focusing the laser beam, a curved mirror or a special lens is used and this occurs in the laser cutting head. Ideally, the beam ought to be accurately focussed to enable the shape of the focus spot to be perfectly round and the density of the energy to be consistent. By concentrating the beam of light on a particular spot along the metal plate, the heat density at that particular spot is intensified. Consider the use of a magnifying glass to focus the rays of the sun onto a dry leaf and how it causes the leaf to catch fire. Now ponder about focussing high intensity light energy into a particular spot, and envision how hot that area will be. 


The high power focused light beam leads to quick heating, melting and fragmentary or full vaporizing of the metal plate. While cutting mild steel, the heat generated by the laser beam initiates a typical oxy-fuel burning process, with pure oxygen serving as the laser cutting gas, similar to an oxy-fuel torch.  In the case of aluminum or stainless steel, the laser beam basically melts the material, while high pressure nitrogen serves to blow out the molten metal from the kerf.

With CNC laser cutters, the laser cutting head is positioned above the metal plate and cuts the desired part out of the metal plate. A highly precise distance is maintained between the bore nozzle and the metal that's being cut courtesy of a capacitive height control system. This distance is vital, since it establishes the location of the focal point with regard to the surface of the metal plate.