Laser cutting in the world of custom industrial fabrication refers to the making of parts whether from sheet metal or structural 3D profiles utilizing a carbon dioxide laser. Carbon dioxide lasers efficiently provide the highest power available so the metal cutting industry uses this type exclusively. The beam of light produced from the laser is in the infrared portion of the light spectrum and as such is invisible to the naked eye. The effect it produces in the material to be cut however is very apparent.
The beam heats the material to the melting point and then one of two things happens. In the case of mild steel, oxygen is used to burn through material in the cutting area in much the same way as a traditional Oxygen Acetylene cutting torch would. Since the oxygen acts to increase the heat in the cutting area, Carbon Dioxide lasers can always cut through a greater thickness of mild steel when compared to Stainless steel. In the case of cutting stainless steel high pressure Nitrogen is used to blow the melted material from the beam path. The Nitrogen is necessary to keep the cut edge free from oxidation.
Mazak Optiplex 3015 11
Laser cutting has many advantages over traditional metal fabricating processes such as shearing and punching:
- No additional tooling is required – The laser will cut any shape that is drawn by a designer and leave behind a perfect edge. Turret punches on the other hand leave an inconsistent edge when nibbling out a profile.
- Holes smaller than the thickness of the material can be cut. – This is not possible with traditional punching.
- The kerf of the cut edge is greatly reduced. Any punching or cutting operation produces a bevelled edge on the material. What this means is that a punched hole has a significantly larger diameter on the back side of the material as it does on the top side. Laser cutting only produces a kerf of ½ degree which in most cases is unnoticeable. What this means is that laser cut holes can be tapped with threads to accept fasteners without any further operation such as drilling or reaming.
- Since the outer contour of a given part is the last cut operation, hole to hole spacing tolerance and repeatability is much higher with lasers than with traditional methods.
- No matter the complexity, the part only gets handled once throughout the cut process. Often with punching processes a part must be handled several times in order to achieve the desired profile.
- When set up optimally, a laser produces no sharp edge on the back side of the cut. This is something unachievable with shearing and punching.
- Laser cutting provides a consistency of cut that is unmatched since there is no tool wear to contend with.
- Tolerances of a cut part are much higher and are often within several thousandths of an inch.
- The ability to nest small parts within contours of larger ones often leads to a reduction in material usage.
- Cut components can be engraved with part numbers or other information during the process.
Laser cutting at Jantz Canada is performed on our Mazak Optiplex 3015 11. Specializing in prototyping and small to medium size runs we offer a cost effective and precise solution to your component fabricating needs. With the recent addition of our Fladder deburring system sharp edges on all contours including holes are eliminated. We are centrally located in Grimsby Ontario right on the QEW between Hamilton and St Catharines allowing us to service all of Southern Ontario with ease.
THE JANTZ ADVANTAGE:
The Jantz advantage in our laser cutting department as well as with our entire manufacturing job shop lies in our experience as machinery designers and fabricators. With our combined decades of industry experience we are often able to suggest improvements to a customer’s part that they may have overlooked or not realized was within the realm of the fabricating process. Another advantage that Jantz has over other firms is that every week we cut most gauges of stainless and mild steel for our own internal projects so we are easily able to accommodate small orders and fast turn around in most cases. We have a long list of repeat customers who appreciate the active role that Jantz takes in the customer/supplier relationship.
Our engineering team is always available to help with your design or we can work directly from your supplied flat patterns or templates. Bend lines, part numbers and assembly information can be etched directly onto your parts.
Typical turn around times for flat parts are 2-3 days and 4-5 days for formed components. Close to Hamilton, St Catharines, Mississauga, and Niagara Falls, Jantz Canada is your laser cutting choice in Southern Ontario
SPECIFICATIONS AT A GLANCE:
Maximum Sheet Size: 5’ x 10’
Tolerance: +/- 0.005 up to 1/4” thick
+/-0.010 in 1/4″ to 5/8″ thick
Material Capacity: 1/2” Stainless Steel
1” Mild Steel
Stainless steel is our specialty – we stock 22 gauge up to 3/8”
Mild steel 22 gauge to 5/8”