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A brief look at our Laser Cutting Service
At Cutting Technologies we laser cut a huge range of materials, from basic mild steel to aerospace alloys, and from inexpensive MDF to acrylic, including engineering plastics. We have laser cutting equipment which has been specifically designed for a particular material group (metals, plastics and wood) and we’re perhaps the only company in the UK that has this mix of laser cutting machines.
A laser beam when focussed to a small point generates a huge amount of heat – hotter than the temperature of the surface of the sun. But just as important as the temperature is the wavelength of the laser beam – there are lots of different types of lasers but only a few are suitable for laser cutting, the others being used for engraving, removing tumours, eye surgery – the list goes on.
Laser cutting works in three different ways –
1. Melting. With all metals and some plastics the laser beam is used to melt the material. We then use an assist gas forced down the same path as the laser beam to remove the molten material – it’s the gas that actually does the cutting, not the laser. The clever part is to match the laser power to the material and then have the cutting gas at just the right pressure to ensure a clean and accurate cut – it’s a bit like herding cats!
2. Burning. In the case of organic materials like MDF, wood, felt, leather, cork etc. we set fire to the material and then use a gas to blow the flame out – this all happens incredibly quickly so the cut edge is very accurate. However, because we’re setting fire to an organic material the cut edge will be blackened and the thicker the material the more pronounced the burning. There will also be an odour of burning that can hang around for a while.
3. Vaporisation. One material, Acrylic, is unique in that it’s the only material that vaporises when we apply the laser beam. The material is given off as a gas and solidifies in our filter system as it cools. This allows us to cut acrylic with a beautiful almost flame-polished edge. We use gas to blow VERY gently on the cut edge to allow it to cool as quickly as possible.
Laser cutting is a very flexible process but is not suitable for everything – it’s just another tool in the toolbox. For example there are limits on the thickness of a material we can laser cut before we run out of power; this depends on the type of material. Also, the level of detail we can achieve varies with the type of material and the thickness.
Explore our site to see the range of materials we laser cut and the type of components we’re doing every day
Technology, expertise, capacity and culture, combined to create the best.
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We use the very latest laser cutting and laser engraving machines
Nothing leaves our production line unless it’s absolutely perfect
We work with you to make your ideas become reality
Setting new standards in the world of engineering and design is our top priority.
Client deadline looming? Just let us know and we’ll do our best for you
If we give you a price, we’ll stick to it, with no hidden extras
Thanks for the speedy work, and the quality-control – I wish there were more guys like you out there!
Jim Douglas - Senior Hire Production Engineer - Autograph Sound Recording