A number of people might not be aware of it, but lasers increasingly coming into use in a myriad of applications with each passing day. Many people might associate laser beams with sci-fi movies or aerospace applications. But, in reality, laser cutting services in Canberra and other places use lasers to assist various kinds of businesses on an everyday basis. Therefore, you might not realise it, but your life could well be incomplete were it not for the presence of various applications and devices that use laser technology.
In the industrial sector, workers use lasers for slicing and transforming objects with minimal fuss. For instance, in the laser material processing sector, a laser will strike an object, resulting in the object undergoing various kinds of alterations. These alterations or changes take place because of the absorption of photons. For the uninitiated, photons refer to particles of light emitted from the laser. On striking the object for a specified span of time, these particles of light will change into heat energy.
Lasers are devices that control the manner in which highly stimulated atoms emit photons for creating streams of light. When a laser strikes an object or a material, only three activities can take place. Therefore:
- The object or material will reflect the laser light stream
- The object or material will transmit the laser light stream or,
- The object or material will absorb the laser light stream
In some cases, two or all three of the above-mentioned activities could take place at the same time. It is worth mentioning that laser beams have a specific wavelength and colour. In addition, they offer tight and concentrated light. This is quite unlike light that a torch provides, which usually scatters or disperses in all directions.
The use of lasers has revolutionised the manufacturing industry. Laser cutting is particularly useful in the petrochemical, automotive and construction sectors. But, it is worth mentioning that this technology is increasingly becoming invaluable for manufacturing a diverse range of products for all kinds of industries. Laser cutting has helped manufacturing companies produce their wares more accurately, more quickly and relatively less expensively. Not surprisingly, many businesses are on the lookout for laser cutting firms all across the country to capitalise on the competitive edge that laser cutting technology typically provides.
What is a Laser?
Several people might find it hard to think that a beam of light could cut through various materials more easily than a spinning or rotating blade. This is especially so if the materials that needed cutting were metallic, glass, wooden or other hard substances. But, when these individuals reflect on this aspect, they will probably be thinking of traditional beams of light. Using traditional beams of light to cut through hard materials would certainly be a hopeless proposition. In contrast, if you were to use a concentrated laser beam, you would be able to accomplish this objective with minimal fuss.
For the uninitiated, a laser denotes a device that emits light. This device emits light based on a process of optical amplification, which traces its origins to the principles of stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. The first laser emerged in 1960 by Theodore H Maiman at Hughes Research Laboratories. The term LASER is an abbreviation for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Some people might feel that a laser is similar to other sources of light. However, this is not the case. Unlike other sources of light, lasers emit light coherently. This trait enables workers to focus the laser beam on a specific spot in fields such as lithography and laser cutting. Lasers can emit light with a very narrow spectrum as well. This means that lasers can emit a single colour of light only, if required.
As mentioned earlier, not many people are aware of the extent to which lasers have come into widespread use in contemporary times. Laser cutting and welding companies specialise in providing laser cut intercom facia plates to spec. – among other things. Lasers are also an essential feature of optical disk drives, laser printers and barcode scanners. In the healthcare industry, lasers come into use in laser surgery and skin treatments. Law enforcement and military agencies use laser for marking targets. In addition, they use lasers for measuring the range and speeds of projectiles. Lasers are useful in DNA sequencing instruments and fibre-optics as well. And, many people would not have failed to feel impressed by laser lighting displays in fairs and trade shows. All of this does not merely highlight how versatile laser technology is. It also goes to show how this technology is affecting our lives more significantly than we might have thought possible.
What is Laser Cutting?
Laser cutting refers to a process by which workers cut precise patterns in a variety of materials, ranging from wood to metal. In the past, workers often used conventional machining tools to cut patterns into various hard surfaces. But, these devices did not provide the commensurate levels of accuracy and complexity that some applications required. The emergence of lasers in the 1960s, led to the evolution of laser cutting technology.
Laser cutting services in Sydney and other places use lasers for cutting various materials. The use of this technology is quite widespread in industrial manufacturing applications. However, in recent times, even schools and small businesses have been employing this technology to good effect. Industrial laser cutters are ideal for cutting flat-sheet material. But, they can cut structural and piping materials as well.
The process of laser cutting works by stimulating a gaseous medium i.e. carbon dioxide. This results in amplifying light reflected back and forth multiple times within the laser chamber. The beam of light will emerge from an aperture. Thereafter, it remains focused on to a specific point by a lens. Some of the most common process lasers will produce beams that are about 1/5th of a millimetre in width. These beams can focus 1,000 to 2,000 watts of energy at the desired point. This intensity is usually sufficient for melting a diverse range of materials.
However, this does not mean that lasers can penetrate entirely through all the materials placed before these beams. It is worth highlighting that as they penetrate a material, laser become less focused. In addition, they start losing energy as well. This is why experts recommend using this technology for making cuts that are below 20 millimetres in depth.
Another aspect that is worth dwelling on is the fact that lasers typically comprise photons. Because of this, materials such as copper and aluminium alloys can reflect away part of the laser’s energy. In addition, it is worth mentioning that these materials happen to be good thermal conductors too. As such, they will easily be able to distribute the incoming heat more evenly throughout their volume. Therefore, workers engaged in laser cutting will usually avoid using lasers to cut through such materials. Instead, they will use laser cutting techniques on surfaces that are poor at absorbing heat, such as stainless steel and carbon alloys. Materials that are poor at absorbing heat tend to concentrate heat into the path of the laser more easily. As such, cutting them with lasers becomes considerably easier.
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