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Laser Cutting

LASER CUTTING IS COST EFFECTIVE

Laser cutting has replaced some of the most conventional cutting methods in the fabrication process. A combination of high-powered laser beams, partial mirrors, and gases combine to form modern laser cutting machines. Recent developments have led to laser cutters using CNC technology to cut through steel or piping many inches thick with a smooth cut line and fine detail.

How Laser Cutting Works

precision laser cutting machine

Laser cutting directs the output of a high-powered laser via computer toward the material to be cut. The material then either melts, burns, vaporizes, or is blown away by a gas jet, leaving the edge with a smooth, high-quality surface finish. Industrial laser cutters can cut flat-sheet material as well as structural and piping materials.

At Glenn Metalcraft, we’ve been using our expertise and experience manufacturing a precision laser-cut part that meets our customer’s exact specifications for over 35 years. Need our expertise?

Advantages of Laser Cutting

laser cutting services

Laser cutting is versatile and can implement cutting in ways that other machines can’t. Materials that are difficult to cut using other methods make excellent candidates for laser cutting. The advantages of laser cutting include:

  • High Accuracy. Accuracy of +/-0.1 mm allows achieving high precision cuts.
  • Low lead times. No need to change the setup for cutting a lot of different shapes within the same material thickness.
  • Lower power consumption. Cutting speed is faster than traditional mechanical cutting methods resulting in less power consumption.
  • Less waste. High processing speed results in a minimal heat-affected zone, ensuring low rates of workpiece distortion.
  • Ability to handle complex jobs. Capable of producing custom shapes and complex geometries.
  • Consistent part quality. Since laser cutting machines are CNC-controlled, they can repeatedly and consistently produce complex and intricate parts to high tolerances.
  • Less damage. Reduced risk of tool marks and surface scratches due to lack of physical contact.
  • No need for finishing. High-quality cuts and edges don’t require cleaning, treating, or finishing.
  • Suitable for a variety of metals. Laser cutting works on a wide array of metals like Steel, Titanium, Brass, Copper, Nickel, Tungsten, Nickel, Aluminum, etc.

Applications for Laser Cutting

laser cutting metal with sparks

Lasers are a vital part of the automation process across the automotive, electronics, energy, heavy equipment, medical device manufacturing, and tool & die industries. The use of laser cutting in the manufacturing process can significantly reduce overtime on projects and increase productivity.

Automotive

As vehicles become more advanced, smaller parts need to be precisely cut. The smooth, precise cuts created by a laser allow for less material waste, and the power required for laser cutting is low. The automotive industry has a significant need for exact replicas of parts of different shapes and sizes. Laser cutting cuts metals to form body pieces of the vehicle, electronic components, and interior covers and buttons.

Laser cutting is ideal for cutting complex formed parts. These are usually vital parts that lend support to the structure of the vehicles. Commonly, these pieces create the engine frame or the instrument panels.

Electronics

The trend toward miniaturization, more efficient use of space and large volume production are highly valued characteristics in the electronics industry. Laser cutting technology can produce the precision and high-speed production required for switching cabinet housing, plug-in units, and the housing of electrical devices.

Energy

Changes in building use are increasing the demand for custom solutions for unique purpose buildings, which require flexible machine concepts from manufacturers. Many products used in making air conditioning technology and energy technology are created from sheet metal such as housings, vents, and ductwork.

Heavy Equipment

From large part processing and thick plate cutting to exact and small, intricate parts, laser cutting can be used in many applications to maximize efficiency. Laser cutting provides a cost-effective alternative to building expensive dies to customize pieces.

Laser cutting is an ideal choice for a full range of agricultural, construction, and heavy equipment industry needs. Structural frames, exhaust pipes, driver’s cabs, mounts, blades, and brackets in agricultural and construction machinery are made from sheet metal.

Medical Device Manufacturing

Laser-cut stainless steel is the basis for medical devices and instruments that improve the procedures used with patients. Scalpels, scissors, valve framers, vascular clips, bone reamers, flexible shafts, and hones are all manufactured laser-cut precision parts.

Tool & Die

The laser’s ability to cut different depths of metal makes it ideal for cutting an extremely accurate die for stamping pieces and molds that will endure the repetitive nature of die-cutting. Laser cutting makes replicating the die a quick and precise operation.

Laser cutting can make injection molds with the same accuracy that it does with dies. Laser cutting simplifies mold making and makes reproducing the mold precisely a much less time-consuming and costly endeavor.

Laser Cutting Experts

machinist operating laser cutting machine

CNC laser technology allows Glenn Metalcraft to manufacture parts quickly and cost-effectively while maintaining the highest quality standards.

At Glenn Metalcraft, our client relationships are as sturdy as the metal we machine. We forged each one with quality service for the highest quality parts. We take pride in delivering your project ready for use, on time, and within budget.

We are a part of the Elemet Group, offering innovative, one-stop metal fabrication, machining, and industrial coating solutions since 1947. We eliminate the need for external sourcing, which saves you time and money. Our sister companies are:

Ready to talk about partnering with us in your product manufacturing project? Get in Touch.

 

Categories
Laser Cutting

Introduction to Laser Cutting for Heavy Metals

Many industries use lasers for many different purposes. Today, we’re focusing on using a laser cutting machine on heavy metals. On metals such as aluminum plates, stainless steel, and steel, the laser cutting process is highly accurate. Laser cutting machines yield excellent cut quality, have a very small kerf width, and smaller heat-affected zones, making it possible to cut very intricate shapes and small holes. What is “laser cutting?” Laser cutting is used for various metal and non-metal materials, including plastic, wood, gemstone, glass, and paper. The word “LASER” is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. What most don’t know – or understand – is how light can cut through metal. We’ll answer a few of our most asked questions today! Glenn Metalcraft Inc. (GMI) continually improves, adds, and upgrades its equipment, including our laser cutting machine, to expand our offerings to customers. Contact us for information about our laser cutting for heavy metals. laser-cutting-machine-2

How Does Laser Cutting Metal Work?

Laser cutting machines are part of a non-contact, thermal-based fabrication process suitable for metal and non-metal materials. Laser cutting employs an extremely-focused, high-powered laser beam to cut the material into intricate shapes or designs. This process is suitable for an extensive range of materials, including metals, plastics, woods, gemstones, glass, and paper. It produces intricate, precise, and complex pieces, mostly without custom-designed finishing or tooling. Laser cutting machines can produce parts with accuracy, precision, and high-quality edge finishes. They do so (generally) with less material contamination, physical damage, and waste than with other conventional cutting processes, such as mechanical cutting. While laser cutting machines demonstrate advantages over conventional cutting processes, some industrial or manufacturing applications can be somewhat problematic, such as cutting reflective material or any pieces requiring custom finishing or machining work. On a CNC laser cutting machine, the laser cutting head is moved over the metal plate or piece in the desired part’s shape, thus cutting the design out of the metal. In a laser cutting machine, a capacitive height control system maintains a very accurate distance between the end of the laser’s nozzle and the metal piece. This exact distance is important when figuring out how a laser cutting machine works. It determines where the focal point exists, relative to the metal’s surface. A laser cut’s quality can be affected by raising or lowering the focal point from just above the metal’s surface, at the surface, or just below the surface. With parameters controlled properly, laser cutting is a stable, reliable, and very accurate cutting process.

laser-cutting-machine-3

What Materials Can Be Cut With A Laser Cutting Machine?

A laser cutting machine is wonderful at cutting many different materials. This list of choice materials includes:
  • Wood
  • Gemstones, such as diamonds
  • Titanium, stainless steel, steel, aluminum, and a range of others
  • Reflective metals, such as silver, copper, and aluminum
  • Glass
  • Plastic, silicon, and other non-metallic materials
Whatever the metal is you work with and whatever the industrial or manufacturing application, a laser cutting machine will be up for the task.

Can A Laser Really Cut Through Metal?

Short answer: Absolutely! Industrial laser cutting machines can cut most metals. Laser cutters and plasma cutters are often used for this purpose. Lasers capable of cutting through the thickest, even steel, plates are high-powered CO2 lasers. Metals such as stainless steel and aluminum can be cut with a laser when using compressed gas technology.

What Are The Benefits Of Laser Cutting?

Compared to other types of traditional industrial cutting methods, laser cutting offers several advantages. These advantages include:

Greater precision and accuracy

Laser cutting machines cut a wide range of patterns and designs with increased precision compared to traditional metal cutting methods. Since laser cutting machines can be CNC-controlled, they can repeatedly produce complex and intricate parts to high tolerances. Thanks to this precision, slits with a width as small as 0.1mm can be achieved.

Higher quality cuts and edges

Laser cutting produces extremely high-quality cuts and edges on its pieces. These generally do not require further cleaning, treating, or finishing, decreasing the need for additional finishing processes.

Narrower kerf widths and less material distortion

The focused laser beam allows for narrower kerf widths, and the localized heating allows for minimal thermal input to the metal piece. The smaller kerf widths minimize the amount of wasted material removed. The low thermal input minimizes the heat-affected zones (HAZs). This, in turn, decreases the extent of thermal distortion. The non-contact nature of laser cutting machines also decreases the risk of mechanical (or thermal) distortion, especially for thin or very flexible or thin materials, and reduces the risk of material contamination.

Less material contamination and waste

Owing to the smaller heat-affected zones, tighter tolerances, narrower kerf widths, and lesser degrees of material distortion, the operator can arrange the laser-cut pieces closely on the metal. This closeness reduces the amount of material wastage, leading to lower material costs over time.

Greater operator safety and quieter operating

Other advantages of laser cutting machines include a massively decreased risk of operator injury and much quieter operations. The entire laser cutting process uses little to no mechanical components and occurs within its enclosure, resulting in less operator injury risk. The operator also has total control with the beam intensity, heat output, and duration when undertaking a laser cutting process, making this a highly reliable and safe operation. As there is less noise produced by laser cutting machines, noise pollution lessens, and the overall workplace environment is also improved. laser-cutting-machine-4

What Industries Come To GMI For Laser Cutting Heavy Metals?

Many industries take advantage of our laser cutting services for their metal projects. These industries include:
  • Automotive (including e-mobility),
  • Aerospace,
  • Electronics,
  • Semiconductor, and
  • Medical.
Glenn Metalcraft Inc. (GMI) continually improves, adds, and upgrades its equipment, including our laser cutting machine, to expand our offerings to customers. Contact us for information about our laser cutting for heavy metals.