A CO₂ is one of three main lasers used in laser cutting. It is also the laser with the most modern applications. These lasers have a complicated design that allows them to mark, engrave or cut materials, depending on the intensity of the beam. How does it work? Read below to find out:
The laser is the part of the CO₂ laser cutting machine that creates the design on the material. It is a high intensity, infra-red that is only a few millimetres in diameter. The beam of light is created when electricity is sent through a gas-filled tube that has mirrors at both ends – one is fully reflective while the other lets some light through. It is then sent down the beam path of the machine in order to reach the material.
The focussing optic of a CO₂ laser cutting machine consists of a convex lens and a cutting nozzle. The cutting nozzle is positioned close to the material being cut for the beam to be focussed. The lens and the nozzle work together to create a focussed laser beam with a point that emits extreme amounts of consistent heat that can cut the material. The beam must be able to travel over the materials at a uniform speed and distance.
The focussed laser beam can then be used to provide the desired results. The CO₂ laser cutting machine can cut, engrave or mark materials such as wood, steel, paper, glass and much more. The beam itself burns, melts or vaporises the material to achieve the desired design. The beam strength can be adjusted by moving the cutting nozzle closer or further away from the material, depending on the purpose of the design.