Various technologies have been invented over the course of last century, to help in mechanization of industrial gadgets. One of the common functions incorporated in industrial sector is that of cutting and welding of metals. Industrial cutting has been highly revolutionized with the help of laser beam technology. Commercial lasers are used to cut large sheets of thick metals and brittle non-metal materials via a motion control system that follows a G-code, commanded by a CNC. A CNC, abbreviation of Computer Numerical Control, controls commands that are sent to cutting machine via computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM).
An advantage of industrial cutting via laser beam is that it requires lesser manpower and leaves high quality surface finish. Industrial cutting is largely used in variety of ways, especially in mining of coal, marble, diamond and other hard rocks. These cutting tools are used to cut large pieces of raw stones, which are further refined in close by laboratories. Use of wire saw is common for cutting large rocks.
Industrial cutting is not only limited to large scale mining and construction projects, it is also used in cutting large flat metal sheets and piping materials, etc. The concept of large scale industrial cutting started with the invention of cutting machines for drilling holes in diamond dies, back in 1965. This technology was further refined to be able to cut titanium, an important metal in aerospace engineering.
With the invention of CO2 lasers, the extents of industrial cutting was expanded to non-metal industries as well. CO2 lasers do not have enough energy to surpass thermal conductive property of metallic objects. These days, CO2 lasers are largely used in textile industries where they are used to cut fabric and other non-metal objects. It works on principles of infrared light, which has a wavelength of maximum 10.6 micrometers. It is generally used for boring, engraving and cutting of non-metals like wax, paper, wood and mild metals like steel, aluminium, etc. Different forms of CO2 lasers include transverse flow, slow axial flow, fast axial flow and slab.
In order to cut materials like sail cloth, PVC, webbing, canvas and vinyl, various CNC cutting systems have been introduced. There is a wide range of cutting solutions for industrial fabrics, tension structures, outdoor furniture and inflatable products. Neodymium yttrium-aluminium-garnet (Nd-YAG) and Neodymium (Nd) laser cutting industrial tools have been introduced for high energy cuttings.
Major cutting tool includes diamond wire cutting tool. It works like a pulley method. The hydraulic pump is provided power to set the wheel in motion. Cabled wire with diamond beads is wrapped around that wheel, which is set to motion. It moves the cable wire along the cutting path on the object to be cut. When diamond beads rub against the object, it produces immense heat via friction which cuts the material. An advantage of diamond cutting is that the cut is finer and uniform in comparison to other mechanical methods. Different methods for industrial cutting include vaporization, thermal stress cracking, reactive method, silicon wafers stealth dicing and melt and blow method.