LASER CUTTING AND ENGRAVING MACHINES
A Bit of History... In 1965, the first laser cutting machine was used to punch holes in diamond dies. This machine was made by the Western Electric Engineering Research Center. In 1967, the British pioneered laser-assisted oxygen jet cutting of metals. In the 1970s, this technology was put into production to cut titanium in aerospace applications. At the same time, CO 2 lasers were adapted to cut non-metallic elements, such as textiles, as they were absorbed by metals.
Laser engraving and cutting machines are characterized by the fact that the energy source is a beam of light, which, propelled by a mirror, concentrates light on the work surface. In order to evacuate the cut material it is necessary to supply a pressurized gas such as oxygen, nitrogen, Co2, or argon. Among the main advantages of this type of part manufacturing, it is worth mentioning that it is not necessary to have cutting dies and it allows for silhouette adjustments. Also among its advantages it can be mentioned that the drive is robotized to be able to keep the distance between the head and the outer surface of the part constant. The two most common types of industrial lasers are Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Neodymium-doped Yttrium Aluminium Garnet. (ND: YAG). A CO2 laser uses a gaseous medium to produce the laser action while Nd: YAG uses a crystalline material. The CO2 laser is commercially available in powers up to 6kW and the Nd: YAG systems are available in up to 6kW.
Laser engraving and cutting machines are used for the different disciplines of the lithographic industry, these machines are used for the mass production of different decorative products, or additional products for garments or marking elements It is a solid state laser generator with high energy efficiency, where a beam of light is generated by optical fibre facilitating and optimizing the transmission of energy. This concept eliminates gas generation and in turn we achieve energy savings.
Fiber optic cable: It is responsible for transporting the beam from the source to the head, thanks to it the old mirror systems and vacuum paths were eliminated.
Cutting head: It is where the beam arrives through the optical Fiber. It is there where it is transformed through a set of lenses to adjust the focal point to each material and thickness. Laser beam cutting is a thermal cutting process that uses highly localized casting or vaporization to cut metal or other materials, with the heat of a coherent beam of light, usually with the assistance of a high pressure gas. Se utiliza un gas de asistencia para eliminar los materiales fundidos y volatilizados de la trayectoria del rayo láser. An assist gas is used to remove molten and volatilized materials from the path of the laser beam. Metallic and non-metallic materials can be cut with the laser beam process. The output beam is often pulsed at very high maximum powers in the cutting process, increasing the speed of propagation of the cutting operation.
Axes: responsible for moving the cutting head throughout the work area, these axes are directed by toothed belts reinforced inside with steel cables that allow greater resistance.
Cooling: The source of a laser machine needs cooling to maintain the ideal operating temperature. This refrigeration almost most of the time is provided by the Chillers, these coolers eliminate the heat through the refrigeration cycle by compression or vapor absorption. The operation is simple; The liquid is circulated through a heat exchanger to cool the equipment or another process stream (such as air or process water). As a necessary by-product, refrigeration creates waste heat that must be exhausted to the environment, or for greater efficiency, recovered for heating purposes.