In manufacturing, one of the most effective ways to cut or remove material such as steel and aluminum is through the process of laser cutting. However, this process becomes increasingly difficult the more complex the material is. This challenge led to the development of the process known as Laser Tube Cutting. While laser cutting has a broad range of applications and uses, Laser Tube Cutting is the specific technique used to cut tubes, channels, and structural shapes in materials like metal and composite. This technique can also be used to cut out holes or complex designs in tubing. If you’re trying to determine the best technique to use for a specific project, the professionals at Ometek can help. Learn all about laser tube cutting and its applications below!
Laser tube cutting is a precise industrial manufacturing process that is primarily used to cut channels, structural shapes, holes, and designs in tubing. As an accurate process, it can be used to cut complex patterns in a wide range of materials. It works by functioning on a multi-axis basis, whereby the tube or material is rotated around a static laser, precisely removing material and making accurate cuts.
Laser tube cutting can be used on a 2-axis or 3-axis basis. A 2-axis machine will work in two dimensions and is ideal for cutting material to length and fabricating tube features and joints for structures. A 3-axis machine will cut in 3 dimensions and is most often used for tilt cutting and chamfering.
Laser tube cutting offers a variety of advantages that other techniques cannot achieve. The biggest advantage is the process’s flexibility. Laser tube cutting can handle a variety of different types, shapes, and sizes of tubes, from small ones that are less than an inch, up to the large 9-inch tubes. Laser tube cutting can even handle rectangular tubes! The technique can also work with tubes up to 24 feet in length that would be otherwise inaccessible.
Laser tube cutting is effective on metal, such as aluminum and carbon steel, and can cut through up to a quarter of an inch of stainless steel, and 0.04 inches of solid titanium. It can even be used on wood, styrofoam, plastic, and almost any other material you can imagine. As an accurate process, laser tube cutting can be used on tubes with irregular shapes, sizes, and thicknesses.
Laser tube cutting is also extremely efficient. Tubes and materials do not need any additional machining after the cutting process is completed, and the cuts are precise and clean, so there isn’t any excess material to worry about or remove. Additionally, the technique allows both cutting to length and complicated designs to be performed by the same machine, lowering costs, time spent, and valuable warehouse space. There are no extra tools, parts, or pieces needed to convert the machine between the two applications, so you can go from cutting to length to chamfering immediately. By being able to perform both functions without any changes, laser tube cutting reduces the costs of projects and gets them done more quickly.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of laser tube cutting is the sheer precision the technique offers. By removing materials accurately, no additional work is required after the process is completed. This allows the entire process to be completed by a single operator. Once the cuts are performed, the parts can be assembled perfectly with minimal effort. It’s this versatility that makes laser tube cutting the first choice for manufacturing companies.
Laser tube cutting is one of the most effective manufacturing techniques, but it needs to be done correctly to ensure that your tubes are properly manufactured and useful. At Ometek, we can complete your laser tube cutting project efficiently, so you don’t have to worry. As the leading sheet metal fabrication company in Central Ohio and across the midwest, we have considerable experience in a range of manufacturing processes, such as welding, sheet metal fabrication, and precision machining. Our expert team and state-of-the-art equipment allow us to complete any job, no matter the size. Contact us today to learn more.