The Benefits and Limitations of Laser CuttingBlog | September 28th, 2020
Metals typically undergo many stages just to fabricate them into equipment, appliances, devices, and other products. One of the stages of metal fabrication is the cutting of materials. This stage mostly allows the metal products to be moulded into different shapes, sizes, and form factors.
In metal fabrication, there is one cutting method that is mostly utilised by a lot of industries today. This process is known as laser cutting. Laser cutting is a method that can slice and cut metal materials through a precise, high-power laser. The laser maximised by this cutting method can easily melt, burn, or vaporise the material, all without losing fine cutting details.
Benefits of Laser Cutting
Laser cutting is maximised by commercial and industrial applications today due to its underlying benefits and advantages. One of the most popular benefits of laser cutting is that it can accurately cut the metal materials and achieve high precision without creating any mechanical friction or contamination. This type of cutting method has an accuracy of +/- 0.1mm, which only means that no added tolerances are required during the whole cutting process. The precision of laser cutting also allows it to produce metal products that have exact sizes and dimensions.
Another great thing about laser cutting is its speed of operations. Compared to other metal cutting methods, laser cutting is said to be faster thanks to the presence of modern technology. Laser cutting works with the help of automation, allowing it to cut metal materials quickly and accurately. The automated process of cutting also helps it produce complex cuts without coming into direct contact with the metal materials. The speedy operations that are brought by automation would only cost a little, cutting down overall operation costs by a significant amount.
Flexibility and versatility are two qualities that the laser cutting possess. When cutting different shapes, the tools needed for laser cutting do not have to be interchanged. Laser cutting can continuously work on metal materials regardless of their shape. Flexibility now becomes versatility as laser cutting can work on different materials. After all, industries do not solely rely on metal materials in processing their manufactured goods and products.
Limitations of Laser Cutting
While the benefits of laser cutting can already make this cutting method preferred by various industries, it can still possess limitations and disadvantages that may not sit well with others. One of the limitations of laser cutting is its inability to cut very thick metal materials. While laser cutting can easily cut materials with moderate thickness, those that possess very thick layers might be difficult for this cutting process to cut right through them. The known maximum thickness that laser cutting can process is 20 mm.
Another limitation of laser cutting is its operability. This form of metal cutting usually requires a specialist operator to perform the whole cutting process safely. The laser beam that is produced by this cutting method can be truly dangerous. Once it comes in contact with the skin, it can easily cause severe burns and other related workplace accidents.
Laser cutting has its own set of benefits and limitations that be either maximised or frowned upon by certain industries. However, weighing on its advantages and disadvantages would still make it recommended for a lot of applications.
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