Simply, a laser refers to a machine that emits light through a process called optical amplification. The process relies on emitting electromagnetic radiation to give a coherent and intense beam of monochromatic light. The laser is supposedly one of the greatest breakthroughs considering the number of things the machine can do, ranging from reading bar codes to surgery. The complex world of process and manufacturing has not been left out either. Here, laser serve many purposes such as cutting, drilling, guidance and aligning. If you want to use lasers for cutting your construction materials, here are some of the methods that a contemporary vendor will use:
Melt and Blow
Melt and blow is one of the common methods used for laser cutting. It is also referred to as fusion cutting because it blows molten metal material from the cutting area using pressurised gas. In this method, the fabricator heats the metal to its melting point so that the cutting area changes into a molten state. They then use a kerf to blow a jet of gas over the molten metal, eliminating the need for any additional heating of the material you are cutting.
One of the top benefits of the melt and blow method is that it does not use up lots of energy. This translates into low fabrication costs compared to some of the other methods.
This method also uses heat but in a different fashion from that of the melt and blow technique. Here, the fabricator focuses the beam on the cutting area until it reaches boiling point and generates a keyhole. Once the keyhole has been formed, it increases the absorptivity of the cutting areas. This makes the hole deeper. As the hole deepens, the material being cut continues to boil and generate vapour. The molten walls blow out ejecta and enlarge the hole even further. This method is ideal for cutting thermoplastics, wood and carbon oriented materials.
Thermal Stress Cracking
Thermal stress cracking is another method available for laser cutters. This method exploits one of the popular attributes of brittle materials; responsiveness to thermal fracturing. The fabricator focuses the laser beam on the cutting area, subjecting the material to localised heating and expansion. Eventually, the material gives in and develops a crack. The fabricator exploits this crack by guiding the beam to deliver the type of cut that they desire. This method is used when working on glass.