The use of laser cutting technology in manufacturing is fast becoming one of the top methods for cutting materials. The way the method works is simple. Usually, a high powered laser beam is directed on the material and laser cuts through material, especially metals, by melting or burning it.
Why do Most Manufacturers Prefer Using Laser Cutting Technologies?
Laser cutting is a computerised cutting method and therefore is very accurate and precise. Precision is something that is capital in the manufacturing process. Despite the many advantages, laser cutting technology is faced with a number of challenges. Let’s examine some of these challenges.
Can Be Destroyed by Too Much Reflection
Most materials that are cut using laser cutting technology are metals; and metals are reflective by nature. Some metals are more reflective than others. There is a threshold of reflection that should not be crossed while using laser cutting technology. Metals such as aluminium are too reflective and can destroy the laser equipment if the beam is reflected back. This means that laser cutting can sometimes be dangerous.
Precision Is Compromised for Cutting Non-Linear Shapes
At times, manufacturing processes may require cutting intricate shapes. Cutting non-linear shapes can sometimes be difficult due to scorching. Scorching during the laser cutting process is caused due to inconsistencies in the laser motion and changes in the mark/space ratio. This tends to lead to lack of uniformity in the edges of the cut material.
This may affect the shape of the final product, especially for parts that need to fit seamlessly into each other. This poses a challenge to the precision of laser cutting technology for cutting non-linear shapes.
Not Always Suited for Cutting Thick Materials
Cutting very thick materials using laser cutting technology can be a daunting task. When cutting a thick material using a laser, the chances of thermal runaway and blowout can be high.
This means that the upper layers of the material may begin to melt away before the material is cut through.
May Lead to Uneven Cutting Results
Cutting materials using laser is affected by the geometry of the material. Corners of the material, for instance, absorb more heat than other parts, which can lead to inconsistencies in the cutting process.
Despite these challenges, the use of laser cutting remains one of the best new methods for cutting a wide variety of materials. The best way to avoid these challenges is to hire specialised companies such as GF Laser to perform mild steel laser cutting and more difficult aluminium laser cutting. These companies have been performing laser cutting for years and only use the latest, state-of-the-art technology.
Laser cutting is now used in a wide range of manufacturing industries, including in aviation, electronics, automotive and steelworks industries, and is set to be the standard in the coming years, so make sure you know everything there is to know about this technology and see how it could help your particular industry.