Science and technology has been evolving since time immemorial. Life has been made simpler by the invention of machines. The hunter-gatherer man had to cut stone using raw muscle to enable him to forge tools that were not good for cutting, but since there were no other options, those tools were regarded the best at that time.
Laser cutting is an ingenious way of directing high-intensity light in the form of a beam to a material that needs to be cut thus facilitating accurate cutting. It is majorly an industrial method but is currently finding its way into laboratories, schools and small businesses. In 1965, the first ever laser machine made by western electric research centre was used to drill holes in a diamond dice.
The Co2 laserjets
There are wide varieties of these types of machines. They are specifically made for various purposes. The two major applications are in the industrial sector where they are essential in cutting and welding operation. This is the best option for such operations due to the high-intensity beams that lower the cost. Co2 beams can be concentrated up to 10µm which is ideal for application in surgical operations. These beams are also precise in medical application based on the fact that its radiations can be absorbed in the soft tissue without causing adverse effects.
The laser cutters use various techniques in cutting processes. These include melt and blow, thermal stress cracking, vaporization cutting, stealth dicing and reactive cutting. All these techniques are applied differently and with different designs of machines. Depending on your requirements, these, machines are made available for every type of work and, therefore, a careful selection has to be done before ordering your machines. Spark & Co has ready machines that can be deployed in various sectors.
In this technique, the beam is focused onto the point on the surface that is to be heated. The material is then heated to boiling point generating a keyhole which is further expanded. A vapour is generated as the absorptivity increases. At this point, the eroded material is blown away further enlarging the hole.
Melt and blow vs. thermal stress cracking
Melt and blow use high pressure to fracture the material thermally, whereas, in thermal stress cracking, thermal expansion is achieved by localized heating resulting in a crack.
Stealth dicing and reactive cutting
Stealth dicing is a process where microelectronic chips are separated using a pulsing device that is adapted to an electronic band gap device. Another technique that is very important in laser cutting is reactive cutting. In reactive cutting, there is the application of a technology similar to reactive gas cutting using oxygen torch. It applies to cutting thick steel plates.
Laser cutting as we have seen has a wide range of applicability in modern society. A hobbyist, a researcher or an industrialist cannot go about their daily activities without applying this technique. The advantage of this method is that the precision is very high and with great accuracy.