Laser Cutting Steel Fabrication

The steel fabrication industry is one of the most important industries in the world today, as it has ties with almost every industry that exists.  Steel is used in almost every product that you can think of, from cars to sewage pipes, jewellery to ships, weapons to gas pipes and much, much more. 

What is Laser Cutting Steel Fabrication?

Steel generally comes in plates or in rolls.  It is an incredibly strong and durable alloy and depending on the type of steel (for example low carbon steel, low alloy steel, stainless steel or marine steel), it can be even more durable or strong.  In order to be able to cut the steel into the shapes that are needed for the particular industry that they are being used for, many companies opt for laser cutting steel fabrication.  Laser cutting steel fabrication uses a computer guided laser beam in order to be able to cut through materials – steel in this case.  Although initially only used in heavy industry, it is now possible to buy smaller scale laser cutters and they are now used by individuals and schools alike.

What is the Process of Laser Cutting Steel Fabrication?

The process of laser cutting steel fabrication is quite complex and difficult, particularly if you try to understand the computerised process that lies behind it.  In general terms, however, laser cutting steel fabrication can be done in the following ways:

  • Melt and blow – whereby high pressured gas is used to blow material that has melted from the area that is being cut, which means less power is required.  This is done by first melting the area that needs cutting to boiling point, which is an incredibly high temperature for steel. 
  • Vaporisation cutting – this is used generally for materials that cannot be melted, such as wood or carbon.  In this process, a keyhole is generated by heating the surrounding material to boiling point, which is then extended across the cutting surface.
  • Thermal stress cracking – this is used on brittle materials, whereby a beam focuses on the area that needs cutting, by cracking the area.  This is often used when cutting glass.

Advantages and Disadvantages to Laser Cutting Steel Fabrication

The clear advantage to laser cutting steel fabrication is that the workplace remains much cleaner as there is in essence little to no residue left after the cut.  Furthermore, the steel itself is less likely to be contaminated by outside influences.

The main disadvantage, however, is power consumption.  An incredible amount of power is required in laser cutting steel fabrication in order to power the laser to a sufficient enough strength to cut through the steel.  In today’s society of trying to reduce carbon emissions and live greener, this is a serious consideration when thinking of the best way to cut through steel.

In conclusion, laser cutting steel fabrication describes the process of cutting steel by using laser technology.  Although it is very clean and hence is less likely to contaminate either the workplace or the end product, the tremendous amount of energy that is used makes laser cutting steel fabrication quite expensive and not very environmentally conscious.




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