Metal is a material that is commonly used in industrial production and daily life. And it plays an irreplaceable role in all walks of life. The laser cutting machine for metals can process many types of metals with high speed, good quality, and low cost. And it is welcomed by more and more metal fabricators and individuals in today’s world. How much do you know about the laser cutting machine for metals? Don’t worry, this complete guide will tell you everything you need to know. If you are a metal fabricator, metal laser machine operator, technician, metal craft enthusiast, or beginner, this article will give you a clearer understanding of the laser cutting machine for metals.

What Is Laser Cutting Machine for Metals?

fiber-laser-cutting-machine

The laser cutting machine for metals is a computer-controlled automatic cutting machine to process various metal materials. It uses laser technology to cut metals. As we all know, the laser is a kind of high-energy light, its temperate can reach higher than the surface template of the sun. And it can instantly melt and vaporize various materials. The laser cutting machine is designed with this principle. It releases a high-energy laser beam to irradiate the metal surfaces, instantly melting and vaporizing the part and forming a smooth cutting slit, thus finishing the cutting.

Laser cutting machine for metals has fast cutting speed and high cutting precision. Also, the machine is very easy to operate. It has become the first choice for metal processing in all walks of life. Stainless steel, carbon steel, galvanized steel sheet, brass, aluminum, aluminum alloy, silicon steel and many other metals can be cut with a laser.

How Does Laser Cutting Machine for Metals Work?

The laser head of the machine emits a laser beam and focuses the laser beam into a small light spot (0.1mm or less). And the light spot has high energy density to make the material quickly reach the temperature of vaporization, thereby vaporizing to forming holes. The movement of the laser head makes the holes continuous, and then a narrow and smooth slit is formed on the metal surface. At the same time, the high-speed airflow coaxial with the laser beam quickly blows away the molten material. Through metal laser cutting, the product is clean and the cutting edge is smooth.

Laser cutting machine for metals has the following obvious advantages:

  1. Fast cutting speed, 5-20m/min or even faster.
  2. High cutting accuracy, about 0.05mm tolerance.
  3. Smooth and beautiful cutting slit, no burrs and deformation.
  4. Strong cutting power, can cut metal up to 30mm thickness.
  5. Simple operation and high degree of automation. Even beginners can learn quickly.
  6. Little pollutants and environmentally friendly. Only a small amount of smoke and dust is produced during the cutting process.

What Are the Common Types of Laser Cutting Machine for Metals?

According to the different laser sources, there are fiber laser cutting machine and CO2 laser cutting machine. The fiber laser cutter is the main cutting machine for metal processing. It has high electro-optical conversion efficiency and excellent cutting performance. The CO2 laser cutter can process some thin metal sheets.

co2-laser-cutting-machine-and-fiber-laser-cutting-machine

According to the machine size, there are various types of laser machines. For example, 1390 home use metal laser cutter is used for small-scale metal processing projects such as metal crafts, metal accessories, metal ornaments, metal parts, metal signs, etc. 1530 fiber laser cutter with 1500*3000mm working area mainly processes large metal parts and metal plates in various industries.

1390-laser-cutting-machine-and-1530-laser-cutting-machine

According to the machine appearance, there are open type laser cutting machine and enclosed type laser cutting machine. The enclosed type laser cutting machine adopts a protective cover, and the user can view the cutting process through the observation window. The open type laser cutting machine has no protective cover. It is suitable to process large materials or long materials.

open-type-laser-cutting-machine-and-enclosed-type-laser-cutting-machine

According to the shapes of workpieces, there are metal sheet laser cutting machine, metal tube laser cutting machine, and metal sheet and tube laser cutting machine. Metal sheet laser cutting machine mainly processes sheet metal parts, auto parts, subway parts, ship parts, machinery parts and so on. And metal pipe laser cutting machine mainly processes sports fitness equipment, water pipes, oil pipes, etc. Metal sheet and tube laser cutting machine can process both metal sheets and metal pipes and has a wider range of applications.

In addition, according to the worktable, some machines only have one worktable and some machines have exchange worktables with higher efficiency. According to the laser powers, there are 500W, 1000W, 2000W, 12000W, etc. According to the processing materials, there are stainless steel laser cutter, aluminum laser cutter, etc.

What Are the Main Parts of Laser Cutting Machine for Metals?

The main parts include laser source, laser cutting head, bed, beam, control system, water chiller, motor and drive, guide rails and other components.

Laser source

It is one of the most important parts and the source of energy for metal laser cutting. With the development of technology, the current fiber laser sources have high electro-optical conversion efficiency, reliable performance, long service life, and low maintenance cost. The best fiber laser sources in the international market are IPG, Raycus, Max, JPT, etc. Currently, DXTECH mainly adopts Raycus and Max on our machines.

Laser cutting head

Laser cutting head is a device that outputs laser and moves according to the specified path of the control system to complete the metal cutting work. It is mainly composed of nozzle, focus lens and focus tracking system. Common laser cutting head brands include Raytools, Precitec, Lasermech and so on.

Bed

The machine bed carries almost all parts of the machine and is the basis of the stable cutting process. A heavy cast iron bed can make the machine more stable at high-speed operation.

Beam

The beam carries the laser head to move. Its stability is very important and will affect the cutting accuracy to a certain extent.

Control system

fiber laser cutting machine

The Control system is the brain of the machine. It gives instructions to the machine to control the operation. Users can check and adjust parameters through the control panel.

Water chiller

The water chiller is used to cool the laser cutting head to ensure stable laser beam quality. It can also prevent the lens from deforming due to high temperatures.

Motor and drive

Motor and drive can accurately convert the voltage signal into torque and speed to control the operation of the machine. There are stepper motors and servo motors. Servo motor and drive can effectively ensure cutting accuracy, positioning speed and repeat positioning accuracy. The well-known servo motor brands include Siemens, Japan Yaskawa and so on.

Guide rails

guide rails

Both the laser cutting head and the beam need to move on the guide rails. The quality of guide rails affects the stability and cutting precision of the machine.

What Metals Can Be Laser Cut?

Laser can process stainless steel, carbon steel, galvanized steel sheet, aluminum and aluminum alloy, brass and other metals.

Laser cutting stainless steel

Steel is a kind of metal material composed of iron and carbon. Stainless steel is made by adding a small amount of chromium and other trace elements to make steel resistant to corrosion. Both thin stainless steel sheets and thick stainless steel plates are suitable for laser cutting. The general metal fiber laser cutting machines (500W-3000W) can cut 0.4-12mm stainless steel plates, which is enough to meet most stainless steel processing needs. Laser cutting stainless steel has flat seams and can be directly used for welding and subsequent processing.

Laser cutting carbon steel

Carbon steel is a kind of steel with high carbon content and stronger rigidity than ordinary steel. It is widely used in the manufacturing of metal parts, auto parts, measuring tools, machinery parts, etc. Laser cutting steel can deal with any carbon steel plate within 30mm, and the cutting effect is very good.

Laser cutting galvanized steel

Galvanized steel is coated with a layer of zinc to prevent corrosion and rust on the surface of the steel sheet. It has good anti-corrosion performance and is one of the most widely used steel materials. Laser cutting galvanized steel is easy to realize, and the cutting edge is smooth. And the laser cut galvanized sheets can be directly used in the manufacturing of household appliances and kitchen utensils.

Laser cutting aluminum and aluminum alloy

Aluminum and aluminum alloys are much lighter than steel. In some industries, they can replace steel to achieve lightweight production, such as automobiles, ships and airplanes. The surface of aluminum materials is shiny and has a certain reflectivity, so they are not easy to be cut with CO2 laser. High power fiber laser cutting machines with Nitrogen or oxygen assisting can cut aluminum plates. Fiber laser cutting aluminum can perform high-quality cutting on aluminum plates and aluminum alloys.

Laser cutting brass

Brass is also a common metal with good corrosion resistance. It can be used to make metal parts. Similar to aluminum, brass also has high reflectivity and cannot be cut by a CO2 laser cutting machine. However, it is feasible to cut brass plates with a fiber laser cutting machine. High power fiber laser cutting brass can make beautiful cuts on brass plates and the efficiency is good.

What Industries Need Laser Cutting Machine for Metals?

Since metal laser cutting machine can process a variety of metal materials, it has a wide range of applications in many fields. Almost all metal-related industries need the laser cutting machine for metals, such as rail transit industry, aerospace, electronic appliances, machinery manufacturing, sports, decoration, advertising and so on.

Rail transit

Rail transit is the infrastructure of a city. The metal parts need to have accurate sizes and flat cutting seams so that they are easy to use for subsequent welding and assembly. Laser cutting machine for metals has unique advantages in this regard. It can process subway parts or train parts with high precision and high efficiency. Taking automobile manufacturing as an example, laser cutting machine can make car chassis, engine, exhaust pipe, shell. What’s more, some machines can be integrated into robots and other automated equipment to realize integrated production.

Aerospace

The metal materials used in the aerospace industry generally have high hardness and rigidity, and the ordinary cutting methods cannot complete the ideal cutting. Laser cutting machine for metals can cut these materials and achieve a good cutting result. It can make metal parts for airplanes and rockets, such as engines, control panels, wing parts, and so on.

Electrical appliances

Laser cutting machine for metals can produce various electrical components. The cutting process is clean and the finished parts have high precision, which can be directly used for subsequent assembly. In the field of household appliances, metal laser cutting is an advanced production process. It can make stainless steel kitchen countertops, kitchenware metal parts, household appliance shells, heat sinks and other parts.

Machinery manufacturing

Metal laser cutting machine can make the mechanical parts used in agricultural machinery, engineering machinery, architectural machinery and so on. It can cut slender work pieces, drill holes on metal plates and cut on special-shaped work pieces. The thermal effect of metal laser cutting is much smaller than plasma cutting. It can effectively control the thermal deformation of the metal. Laser cutting machine for metals is suitable to handle various shapes of metal pieces. And the automated control system can preset the tool path so that the machine can complete a variety of procedures at one time, which greatly improves production efficiency.

Sports industry

Many large-scale outdoor sports amusement facilities and indoor sports fitness equipment are inseparable from metal laser cutting machines. Carbon steel is the main raw material to make sports facilities and sports equipment, mostly metal pipes. Laser cutting machine for metals can process round pipes, square pipes and other special-shaped pipes. And it can deal with multiple graphics, including punching, carving, hollowing, beveling.

Decoration

At present, metal decoration styles are gradually popularized in exterior and interior decoration, such as metal screens, metal decoration walls, metal ornaments, etc. Metal laser cutting machine is highly intelligent, which facilitates the decoration companies to provide customize d services according to the customer preferences. As long as the graphics are designed on the computer, the machine can quickly finish the product. And the finished decoration products have high artistic appreciation value.

Advertising industry

In the advertising industry, stainless steel, aluminum sheet, galvanized sheet, brass, titanium alloy are all commonly used materials to make advertising signs, company logos, curtain walls, etc. Metal laser cutting machine is suitable to cut these materials and can produce a clean and smooth cutting effect. In addition, the production of advertising signs generally requires customization, so there is an urgent requirement for processing efficiency. Laser cutting advertising signs have fast cutting speed and high efficiency, which can meet the needs of diverse sign design and production.

What’s the Differences Between Laser Cutting Machine for Metals and Other Metal Cutting Machines?

Metal laser cutting machine, water jet cutting machine and plasma cutting machine are the main cutting machines for metals. The following table lists their comparisons in metal processing. You can learn about the advantages of the metal laser cutting machine through this table.

Item

Metal Laser Cutting Machine

Plasma Cutting Machine

Water Jet Cutting Machine

Applicable Metal Materials

Nearly all metals, reflective metals need special processing

Any metals

Any metals except for rusty metals

Functions

Multiple functions: cut, engrave, weld

Cut

Cut

Cutting Precision

0.05mm and better

>1mm

0.1-0.2mm

Cutting Speed

5-20m/min and faster

5-20m/min

<5m/min

Range of Cutting Thickness

<30mm

<100mm

<300mm

Flatness of Cutting Edge

Good

Average

Excellent

Thermal Effect

Small

Large

No

Pollutants

Little smoke and dust

Little smoke and dust

A lot of waste mixed of water and abrasive

Noise

Low

Large

Large

Initial Investment

High

Low

High

Operation Cost

Low

Low

High

Learning Curve

Short

Short

Long

Metal Laser Cutting Machine Price

  1. CO2 laser cutting machine.

The price of a common CO2 laser is about $2,000-$10,000. The actual price is determined according to the specific configuration (motor, drive, controller, etc.), laser power and machine size.

2. Fiber laser cutting machine.

The price of a fiber laser machine is much higher than a CO2 laser machine. This is because the laser power of fiber laser cutting machine is usually higher for cutting thick metal plates. Also, the fiber laser cutting machine usually adopts world-class parts, such as Raycus laser source, Japan Yaskawa servo motor, Schneider components, Japan SHIMPO reducer, etc. The price of an ordinary fiber laser cutting machines ranges from $20,000 to $150,000.

If you want to see more details about the laser cutting machine price, you can contact us and get a quote directly.

What Factors Affect the Laser Cutting Effect?

The main factors that affect the laser cutting result include laser power, cutting speed, laser focus position and air pressure.

  1. Laser power.

Laser power represents the cutting force of the machine. Excessive laser power can cause excessive ablation of the material and rough cutting seams. If the laser power is too small, the material cannot be cut through. Therefore, it is necessary to choose suitable laser power according to the metal types and cutting thickness.

2. Cutting speed.

If the cutting speed is too slow, it may cause excessive melting of the metal and uneven cutting seams. If the cutting speed is too fast, the laser cannot cut through the material.

3. Laser focus position.

The laser beam needs to focus on the metal surface or slightly downward. If the focus position is incorrect, you may get a rough cutting edge and the molten residue will adhere.

4. Air pressure.

Increasing the air pressure can help you to increase the cutting speed. However, if it exceeds a certain value, it will slow down the cutting speed, widen the cutting slit and make the cutting edge uneven.

In summary, remember to double check the laser power, cutting speed, air pressure and laser focus position before you start to use a laser cutting machine.

Summary

The metal laser cutting machine performs high processing efficiency and good cutting quality in the processing of various metal materials. It plays an extremely important role in all walks of life. Compared with other metal cutting machines, metal laser cutting machine is easy to operate and has high productivity. It is an indispensable choice for metal fabricators that need transformation and upgrading.

The fiber laser cutting machine is the main laser cutting machine to process metals. With the characteristics of high electro-optical conversion ratio, long longevity and stable performance, the fiber laser cutting machine can help metal fabricating companies to complete their work quickly and accurately. What’s more, a fiber laser cutter can also help metal designers and metal craftsmen to quickly achieve their creative ideas and make metal art easier.

Over the past 10 years, DXTECH has provided a lot of metal laser cutting solutions for customers in many countries and regions. If you want to get a suitable laser cutting machine for your metal project, welcome to leave us a message at any time.

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