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The Three Types of Lasers by Vadim Daskal

[Nov 19, 2010]

Laser cutting systems are very popular because they reduce time the required time to cut a surface and they can be more precise because the laser beam never needs sharpening. Downsides including, the high initial costs of these systems and there are many surfaces which do not cut well with the laser beam. Laser cutting often operates through a thermal process and can cause melting a discoloring of many materials. Also other materials can release toxic gases which make it difficult for the operator. Generally an overall assessment of your particular job is a good to figure out whether traditional or laser cutting is a better plan.

There are three main types of commercially used laser for common cutting applications. These include the CO2, ND, and ND-YAG lasers. They all have different applications they excel at cutting. For example, the CO2 laser works well for etching, engraving and boring applications. The ND laser is used for low repeating and high energy boring type applications. While the ND-YAG laser is also used for engraving applications. Within each of these classes many different specific models from many different companies are available.

One of the most common laser types is the CO2 laser which operators through using electromagnetic radiation to excite gas thereby releasing energy which is focused by mirrors causing a near perfect laser beam.

These machines work well; however, often they sometimes have problems with the aging within the cavity. An additional consideration of the performance of many CO2 systems is the gas flow of the resonator. The speed at which these gases move will affect the laser cutting services velocity. Many of the modern systems use cooled resonators to help prevent system from aging.

About Vadim Daskal
The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt. - Frederick Buechner
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