Laser Cutting


Compared with other methods of material cutting, laser cutting has the following advantages:

  • It is a non-contact process. Flexible or fragile materials can be cut by a laser beam with high accuracy, and without the material distortion typically caused by mechanical cutting. 
  • Laser cut width is extremely narrow (typically 0.1 to 0.3 mm).
  • The laser cutting process is fully computerized and automated.
These advantages of laser cutting, and the lack of need for complex anchoring mechanisms, allow to the cutting system to be quickly reset, for example from cutting a steel component to a polymer component.

Cutting PVC plastic, acrylic, and other non-metallic materials


In recent years, laser cutting has become the most frequently used technology to perform high-quality cutting of non-metallic materials. This method ensures the most accurate contour of products cut from a variety of materials such as acrylic, Plexiglas, PVC, polystyrene, rubber, fabric, cardboard, and veneer, among others. Of course, to achieve high-quality product using these materials, it is not only necessary to have access to the appropriate equipment but to also have the support of professional staff who follow established material processing procedures. At Laser Cutting Plus, we have everything you need for laser cutting Plexiglas, opaque plastics, and fabrics, using CO2 lasers.

Laser cutting of PVC achieves a minimal cutting thickness of 0.1 to 0.2mm, while yielding a perfectly flat and smooth end surface without any additional processing, making it a particularly popular service in the advertising industry. It is important to note that when PVC of larger thicknesses is used for laser cutting, the end surface acquires a brown tint that brightens with time. By adhering to established rules and procedures, it is possible to achieve a clear and smooth cut when laser cutting Plexiglas and acrylics. To ensure a smooth cut surface, acrylic laser cutting should be carried out without the supply of compressed air. The process of laser cutting of acrylic accelerates with the addition of air, acquiring a surface roughness that is not always desirable.


Cutting wood


Laser cutting wood-based materials does not substantially differ from cutting other non-metal materials, and relies on CO2 laser systems. The cutting area is cleared with condensed air, blowing out the combustion gases and blowing off the flames. With optimal air blowing, it is possible to avoid the formation of soot and obtain a clean cut.  If the cutting designs are optimally placed on the surface of the material, the small width of the cut (0.2-0.3mm) permitted by our equipment can significantly reduce material waste.

Complex contour laser cutting of wood-based materials is widely used in the production of architraves, cornices, brackets, furniture and gifts. Wood materials to be cut are typically limited to 40mm thickness, since using thicker materials produce a noticeable change in the shape of the cut (this is due to the increase of the diameter of the focused beam with distance).

 


Additionally:


  • The actual area heated by the laser beam is very small, and most of the heated material is removed in the cutting process. Thus, the heat input to the majority ofImage the material is very low, the heat affected zone is minimized and thermal distortion is absent.
  • A laser cutting process is performed at high speed compared to other methods. For example, a typical laser with the power of 1200 watts cuts 2mm steel at a speed of 6 m/min. The same laser will cut 5mm acrylic sheet at a speed of about 12 m/min.
  • Due to the computerization of the process, narrow width of the cut and lack of mechanical action on the sheet to be cut, the components may be positioned very close to each other. This reduces the loss of material to a minimum. 
  • The laser cutting process is noiseless compared with other competing methods.

Laser cutting is rapidly growing, with the number of operated units increasing by about 1000 every year, recently reaching the 10,000 mark.