Laser in Metalworking Industry. How It Works.

Laser in Metalworking Industry. How It Works.

Technological inventions have changed the world and made our life easier. Laser is one of them. Nowadays, lasers are everywhere. They help to improve our life in a great variety of fields, including industry, medicine, cosmetology, security and technology.

WHAT IS A LASER?

The term ‘laser’ is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A laser is a device that converts different types of energy (electrical, light, chemical, or thermal) into optical coherent electromagnetic radiation.

All types of lasers are basically optical amplifiers – they ‘excite’ the lasing medium (a load of atoms of a solid, liquid, or gas with electrons in them) placed between two mirrors, creating the process of stimulated emission. The excited atoms give off photons that bounce between two mirrors causing emission of more photons. The chain reaction continues and the number of photons increases.  A partially-reflecting mirror at one end of the tube lets some of them escape. The escaping photons emerge as a very concentrated and powerful laser beam.

TYPES OF LASERS

There are three most common types of lasers used for industrial cutting systems, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

Solid state lasers use solid crystalline (such as ruby or yttrium aluminum garnet) as lasing medium and the light of arc lamp as a pumping source. Comparatively low cost is the main benefit of these lasers. However, due to low output power and short lifetime they did not get general industrial application.

Semiconductor lasers differ from solid state lasers as they are electrically pumped by laser diodes. Low cost maintenance of such laser systems is their great advantage. On the downside, the repairs of the main unit – a resonator – can only be performed by the manufacturer.

Gas lasers use compounds of noble gases (CO2, N2, He) as their medium and are pumped by electromagnetic discharge. These lasers offer many advantages. They generate highly monochromatic powerful narrow directional beam and due to their wavelength can process both metals and non-metals. In addition, gas lasers are highly reliable, maintainable and durable.

Metal work in Gromov Company is performed on a range of gas laser systems of the European technology leader, TRUMPF.

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