Laser Cutting Applications
Laser cutting is now one of the most widely used manufacturing processes in the world. Finding a home in industries such as the aerospace, automotive, electronics, semiconductor and medical sectors, it’s clear that it offers a huge range of benefits and uses.
The cutting process works in a vastly different way compared to how it has previously been done in the past, offering a new level of quality and reliability to its users. To help demonstrate just how varied this process can be we have listed below some of the applications for this type of laser process.
How are lasers used to cut metal?
One of the most common applications is to cut metal. This process can be used on a huge number of different metals, including steel, tungsten, nickel, brass and aluminium. Regardless of the industry or the work that is conducted in that industry, it’s more than likely that metal will play a part in some way.
Whatever the thickness of the metals, a laser can be used to deliver the same clean cuts and smooth finishes. You’ll commonly see a laser cut metal for components and structural shapes, such as for the body of a car or the casing of a mobile phone.
Can reflective metals be cut?
As well as using laser cutting to cut traditional metals such as steel, did you also know that the process can be used on reflective metals too? Furthermore, you can use the process to create complex and intricate shapes.
Use in laser surgery
As well as metals, wood and food, the process is also useful for working with human tissue too. Laser cutting is already used in the medical sector to create many of the medical devices that we use every day, such as life-saving stents and test tubes. Laser surgery simply provides another reason why the medical sector couldn’t do without this new cutting technology.
A laser beam is is used instead of a scalpel, and is conducted by vaporising the human tissue. The most common form of laser surgery is laser eye surgery.
Similarities to Laser marking and laser engraving
Two of the most common applications that lasers can also perform are laser marking and laser engraving. Engraving or marking can be added to an object to increase its aesthetic value, complete a product or to have a more practical function, such as adding a barcode.
There are thousands of items that have been laser marked or laser engraved. You can read up on the laser engraving and laser marking of pewter here, as well as the laser engraving of wooden signs or the laser engraving of wooden boxes and foam inserts here.
These processes are also extremely common in the jewellery industry, used to mark or engrave all varieties of jewellery.
Using laser cutting for packages
The process is often used for creating a number of different packages and packaging designs, whether this is for boxes or bags.
Can silicon be cut?
One of the biggest uses for is for working with silicon. Silicon is an extremely important material, used in multiple industries including solar, microelectronics and semiconductors. As this helps to operate most of the technological products that we use every day, the importance of lasers in silicon cutting can’t be understated!
As the process offers more precise cuts than were previously achievable by past machines, the silicon products and components have been able to adapt to become smaller and smaller. This allows for the continuous number of innovations and developments that we’ve seen in the world of technology.
Can lasers cut ceramics?
Laser cutting is also commonly used to cut ceramics too. Ceramics play an important role in many industries thanks to its thermal conductivity and electrical insulation, so it is used in a number of different applications.
The process can also be used to scribe ceramic too.
What other non-metals can be cut?
As you’ve probably gathered by now, laser cutting can be used on a huge number of different materials. Some of these are non-metal materials like polymers, carbon composites, plastics and rubber.
Find out more about lasers processes and cutting from SPI Lasers
We have a number of different cutting lasers available, all capable of performing high-quality cutting to an extremely high quality. If you have more questions about cutting with lasers, or would like to discuss this further, please get in contact with us here.
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