Industrial lasers are seen in the best light when compared to other cutting tools, such as metal blades, which can leave behind microscopic chips of metal or material from prior cutting tasks that are not left behind by industrial lasers. Metals used in sensitive applications often must comply with strict standards of sterility and purity; because laser equipment doesn’t make physical contact with work pieces, they present no possibility of work piece contamination.
Lasers are also very effective engraving and etching tools because of the precision with which they can operate. Lasers are capable of writing letters and numbers with depths of just a few micrometers into metal and plastic parts. This function is especially valuable in the fabrication of small electronics. The only major disadvantage of industrial lasers compared to other fabrication tools is that lasers are very limited in their ability to cut through thick materials.
Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. All lasers are light amplification and focusing tools. If light is amplified and focused enough, the heat generated at the light’s focal point can be intense enough to melt metal. Lasers vary in terms of their capacity for light amplification and focusing. In order to become useful for industrial purposes, laser systems require access to a power source that is sufficient to generate and amplify light at high levels.
Also, specialized focusing and amplification materials like mirrors and lenses are required to maximize amplification efficiency. Light amplification requires electricity and solid state, gaseous or liquid gain media; gain media are substances that generate light and are powered by electricity. Many laser systems generate beams through the electrification of gasses like carbon dioxide.
CO2 lasers are very popular because of their reliability and effectiveness. Gas lasers create beams by electrifying gas in a special enclosure. The electricity stimulates the gas, which then emits photons; this emission is called radiation, and the form of radiation caused in this reaction is called light. The light is then focused by a series of lenses and generates heat at its focal point.