Types of Laser Cutting Machines – Elena

There are several types of laser cutting machines available, divided into gas, liquid and solid-state lasers. The types are differentiated based on the state of the active laser medium—i.e. Whether the medium is a gas, liquid, or solid material. And what the active laser medium consists of (e.g., CO2, Nd:YAG, etc.). The main two types of lasers employed are CO2 and solid-state lasers.

One of the most commonly employed gas state lasers, a COlaser employs a carbon dioxide mixture as the active laser medium. Typically we use COlasers to cut non-metal materials since early models were not powerful enough to cut through metals. Laser technology has since evolved to enable COlasers to cut through metals. However, CO2 laser is still more suitable for cutting non-metallic and organic materials (such as rubber, leather or wood). And simply engraving metals or other hard materials. Pure nitrogen laser is another commonly used gas laser. We use these lasers for applications that require materials that do not oxidize during cutting.

There are several varieties of solid-state lasers available, including crystal and fiber lasers.

Crystal lasers employ a variety of crystal mediums. E.g., neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) or neodymium-doped yttrium orthovanadate (Nd:YVO4). Which allow for high-powered metal and non-metal laser cutting. Although versatile in regards to their material cutting capabilities, crystal lasers are typically more expensive and have shorter lifespans than other types of lasers. Fiber lasers offer a cheaper and longer lasting alternative to crystal lasers. This type of laser first generates a beam through a series of laser diodes, then transmits and amplifies through the fiber. And focused on the workpiece to perform the necessary cuts.

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