Laser cutting is a thermal cutting process for processing sheet metal. The laser beam is created by the laser source (resonator), conducted by mirrors or a transport fiber in the machine cutting head where a lens focuses it at very high power on a very small diameter. This focused laser beam meets the sheet metal and melts it. Bystronic uses two types of laser sources: CO₂ laser and fiber laser.
A CO₂ laser uses a gas mixture to create the laser beam. The necessary high voltage in the resonator is created with the help of wear-free semiconductor excitation modules. Bystronic relies on such modules since they are smaller, more efficient and reliable than traditional solutions. The CO₂ technology is suited for allrounders who process various materials and thick sheet metal.
Fiber lasers are the newest development in laser cutting. The laser beam is created by an active fiber and transmitted over a transport fiber to the machine cutting head. Fiber lasers are significantly smaller than CO₂ lasers and generate twice as much power from the same amount of current. A fiber cutting system is primarily suited for processing thin to medium-thick sheet metal. It also cuts non-ferrous metals (copper and brass).
The laser beam is focused by the lens in the cutting head and directed onto the workpiece by a nozzle. The cutting gas also flows through this nozzle. Depending on the application, oxygen, nitrogen or compressed air are used as the cutting gas.
Laser cutting is extremely versatile. In addition to flat materials, tubes and profiles can also be processed by laser cutting systems. Primarily steel, stainless steel and aluminum are cut. The thickness of the processed sheet metal ranges from 0.8 to 25 mm.