How Does a Metal Laser Cutting Machine Work?
Using a metal laser cutting machine is growing more and more. You can better understand how it works below.
No one doubts that laser cutting machines radically changed the manufacturing industry. These innovative machines can quickly and perfectly recreate nearly every computer-made design within seconds or minutes. This is why it is used extensively in various applications and several industries.
Here’s what you need to know about laser cutting machines, how they work, etc.
What is a Laser Cutting Machine?
Laser cutting machines are Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machines that precisely transform digitized drawings into computer language that quickly describes each curve and angle of the design.
The designer sends the finished drawing to the machine as soon as a particular design is completed via a computer rendering program. This is akin to sending a particular image file to a conventional printer in the office.
Laser cutting machines recreate the designs within minutes and can even reproduce several parts or copies as required. Several types of laser cutting machines exist, such as:
- Fiber Lasers
- CO2 Lasers
Let’s see how laser machines work in the following section.
How a Laser Cutting Machine Works
All laser cutting machines operate on the same principle. First of all, laser cutting itself is a thermal process. Everything starts with a laser source, with the laser mounted carefully on a gantry system. This makes it possible for the laser to move anywhere along the X-Y axis.
The laser source generates a consistent, incredibly powerful light that can readily be adjusted with top-notch accuracy.
The laser beam is carefully redirected and focused intently until it reaches a very fine point. The concentrated laser beam becomes intensely hot, making it possible for users to cut through any material. The gas used in this thermal process efficiently does away with liquefied metal.
The power of a concentrated laser beam is incredible. You can use it to readily reproduce several designs with impeccable accuracy. It doesn’t even matter if the design has several angles and curves intricately involved. You can work through them efficiently with zero errors using a laser cutting machine.
Cutting metal using laser beams starts by drilling a fine hole in the material. This usually takes less than 15 seconds, depending significantly on how thick the metal is. The laser beam employed during the laser-cutting process is equivalent to a thickness that ranges from 1.5 mm to 12.5 mm.
However, it must be stated that not all lasers can quickly generate the same level of detail. Some lasers cannot produce as much heat or detail as others, i.e., they cannot be concentrated enough to cut through materials such as metals, etc.
Do not get it twisted: a laser is a pure form of energy and nothing else. For this reason, you won’t be judged harshly if you say there is no need for maintenance. But the truth is that maintenance is required for every machine. For instance, a laser’s beam can be misaligned or shift over time.
Some laser cutting machines have also been discovered to radiate far more energy than is required for a particular process. This can cause the machine to start heating up improperly. This is where laser profiling comes to the rescue.
Laser profiling involves accurately measuring a laser’s energy output and waveform. This grants the operator the capacity to make all necessary adjustments in order to maintain the optimum precision of the laser cutting machine for extended periods. If high-quality products are to be produced day after day, necessary adjustments must be made.
Laser beam profilers are the state-of-the-art measuring equipment used in detecting and analyzing these 4 aspects of laser:
- Beam quality
- Energy uniformity
- Beam shape
Some laser measuring devices can also detect total energy output. Operators or engineers use such devices in order to confirm the degree of hotness of the focal point of a laser beam. This makes it easier for them to know if the laser beam is hot enough to cut right through metals like stainless steel, etc.
Lasers must always function optimally to perform hundreds of thousands of cuts within thousands of operative hours.
Why Precision and Quality is Key
As you already know, laser precision is crucial and highly coveted for compressor valve plates/parts. For a compressor valve to work efficiently, every part must have an exact dimension that conforms to other system parts. This is what guarantees the long lifespan of compressor valves.
Lasers are also the go-to choice for crafting plates, as well as several parts from thermoplastic materials. They are also used in cutting metal of varying thicknesses. In this metal-based industry, accuracy is probably the highest factor for every intricate operation that relies heavily on cutting across numerous axes.
Every compressor plate/part must be cut perfectly to ensure maximum operating efficiency, quality, and longevity. The strength of the valve seal is vital to guaranteeing accurate operation and flutter-free pressure. Only a laser cutting machine can make the perfect cuts according to specified dimensions.
How Laser Cutting Machines Create Metallic Compressor Valve Parts/Plates
Compressor parts/plates are often designed to achieve optimum proficiency. This is why they are not one-size-fits-all articles.
Valve plates must be quiet, durable, and exceptionally resilient since they are crucial in every work cycle. It must also avoid any form of vibration during operation. It must be unbreakable and must hold its own impressively, especially during sudden power surges that cause valve flutters.
This is why compressor valve plates must be dimensionally stable at all times. Stainless steel is usually the material of choice for making compressor valves because it is strong and durable, resistant to corrosion, and already composed of excellent material.
Stainless steel is used in making household appliances – such as cookware, etc. – as well as surgical instruments, jewelry, and industrial applications.
The type of stainless steel often used in industrial applications is Grade 410 stainless steel. This is the ideal choice for fabricating compressor plates. Due to its composite nature, this stainless steel type is exceptionally resistant to heat and possesses an incredible amount of strength.
Grade 410 stainless steel can also withstand welding and machining. These are some of the primary reasons it is the material of choice for use in a hardened and stress-relieved state.
Rely on a Metal Laser Cutting Machine
Laser metal cutting is one of the most efficient modern cutting methods today. This is possible through the use of laser cutting machines and laser technology. There are many companies (such as lotus laser, for example) that are actively working towards making these services readily available to the required clients.
Also, this is probably the reason why the popularity of laser cutting machines keeps soaring every day within all metal-based industries as they rely on such machinery to adequately and optimally function.
It also shows that laser technology is here to stay for the long haul and is currently the most efficient and accurate process for cutting metals with zero errors.
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