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?Laser Categories One category of laser is a CO2 laser. In this type of laser, a mixture of gas is brought to an energized level so that the laser to function. The mixture holds the elements nitrogen, carbon and helium. Another type of laser employed in laser cutting is a neodymium (Nd) laser. This laser has the same employability as the CO2 laser, but employs a crystal with small amounts of neodymium in it rather than a gas mixture for the medium. A third type of laser is the laser referred to as neodymium yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd-YAG). The distinction between the two types of lasers is just in employability. The neodymium laser has a slow repetition speed and can be used in high energy applications and for boring. Nd-YAG is used for boring and engraving but is extremely high energy. Methods of Cutting There are various methods that a laser slices a material. In vaporization, which is for objects like non-ferrous metals, the material is heated quicker than it can dissipate the heat and it is vaporized. The material reaches a very high temperature, 50,000 degrees, the cut or kerf elongates, and vaporization continues. In the cutting process known as melt and blow, a high pressure gas blows the molten material away from the cutting region. The cutting material is most often a metal. In thermal stress cracking, a delicate material comes into contact with the heat from the laser and a stress crack is produced. The crack is followed through with the laser beam to complete the cut. This process is usually used during glass cutting. There are several other procedures of cutting with a laser also. Advantages of Using a Laser Cutter By employing a laser beam to cut, the object is not contaminated during the cutting action since the object being cut does not come into physical contact with a cutting tool. The employment of the laser cutter also hurries up the line of production processes. The light beam is also very accurate, offering an extremely decisive cut. There is less wear and tear on the machinery involved because there is no wear involved on the laser. This also saves on costs since there is less restoration involved in the machinery. From cutting to engraving, laser cutters have several uses and there are many advantages to employing a laser in the cutting process in a manufacturing setting. Marc Anderes is the Vice President of Operations of Maloya Laser which specializes in Metal Manufacturing and Laser Cutting with advanced laser technologies, servicing aerospace, scientific, transportation, medical and machinery needs.
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