How does a laser cutting machine work?

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How does a laser cutting machine work?

Laser cutting machine is a new type of non-contact cutting equipment with high energy, high efficiency, and simple operation. The laser cutting machine is focused on forming a spot with high energy density, which has many advantages in metal cutting. The laser cutting machine mainly has four different ways of working, to deal with different situations.

 Here is the content list:

·Melting cutting in laser cutting machine

·Vaporization cutting

·Slice and control fracture cutting

·Oxidation melting cutting


Melting cutting in laser cutting machine

The working principle of melting and cutting is that when the power density of the incident laser beam exceeds a certain value, and evaporation state begins to occur inside the material at the point where the laser beam is irradiated, thereby forming a hole. Then, the hole will be absorbed by some black bodies to complete the cutting work. During the cutting process of the laser cutting machine, the laser beam is only partially absorbed. As the laser power increases, its maximum cutting speed will also increase, and the higher the thickness and melting degree of the sheet, the lower its cutting speed will be. For a certain laser power, the limiting factors are the air pressure at the gap and the thermal conductivity of the material. The laser cutting machine can realize the non-oxidized incision of iron and titanium. The laser power density for melting rather than vaporizing steel is between 104w/cm2 and 105W/cm2.

Vaporization cutting

Vaporization cutting: Laser vaporization cutting uses a high-energy-density laser beam to heat the workpiece so that the temperature rises rapidly, and the material reaches the boiling point in a short time, and then the material starts to vaporize to form steam. In the CNC machining of laser cutting machines, the most commonly used cutting method is vaporized cutting, especially for cutting wood, carbon materials, and other plastics. Because vaporization cutting is needed in high-power high-temperature cutting. If certain materials are easy to melt at high temperatures, this cutting method should be avoided. Therefore, this method is only suitable for applications where the elimination of molten material must be avoided. This process is only used in a very small field of iron-based alloys. Therefore, it cannot be used for materials (such as wood and certain ceramics), which are not in a molten state and are unlikely to recondense the vapor of the material. In addition, these materials usually require thicker cuts. Assuming that the laser cutting machine does not have enough laser power, when the thickness of the fixed plate is very thick, the maximum cutting speed is limited by the gas jet speed, which affects the production efficiency of the laser cutting machine.


Slice and control fracture cutting

The slicing function of the laser cutting machine is to scan the surface of brittle materials with a high-energy-density laser. After heating, the material evaporates into a small groove. Under certain pressure, the brittle material will rupture along the small grooves.

Controlled fracture is a steep temperature distribution produced by laser grooving, which generates local thermal stress in brittle materials and causes the material to fracture along small grooves. For example, glass cutting.


Oxidation melting cutting

Oxidation melting cutting (laser flame cutting) melting cutting generally uses inert gas. If oxygen or other active gas is removed, the material will be ignited under the irradiation of laser beam, and another heat source will be generated by the fierce thermal reaction with oxygen, which makes the material further heated. It is called oxidation melting oxidation.


Four different working modes of laser cutting machines play different roles on different occasions. They have their advantages and characteristics. They are widely used because of their high density, high energy, high efficiency, and small operation difficulty coefficient. I hope the four working methods introduced in this paper can make you understand the laser cutting machine.

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