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1041 Trulls Rd.
Courtice, ON
L1E 2S9
Tel: (905) 434-2556
Fax: (905) 434-1427
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FAQs on Laser Cutting Aluminum and Its Reflectivity
FAQs on Laser Cutting Aluminum and Its Reflectivity
June 04, 2018

Aluminum is a highly reflective non-ferrous metal which can shaped by laser cutting. However, being a highly reflective material, there are certain restrictions/precautions that must be taken when laser cutting aluminum sheets, especially those beyond a certain level of thickness.

 

Since aluminum is commonly alloyed with other metals to imbue it with properties most suitable for the particular application in which it is intended to be used, a laser cutting service provider must be mindful of the unique composition. Moreover, plastic sheeting draped over the aluminum (as protection) too must be factored into the cut.

 

The reflectivity of a metal must be considered before a laser cutting project to find the most appropriate method of cutting and getting the best results.

 

Whereas all of these aspects add complexity to laser cutting aluminum products, they certainly don’t make it impossible to cut aluminum. The length of the cut and the number of cuts will also affect the choice of laser for the cut. Laser cutting configurations comprised of pulse lasers will cut slower, however, offer a lot more power, which can be used to penetrate thicker sheets of aluminum.

 

Continuous wave lasers on the other hand are slightly lower power and may not be suitable for the thicker materials; but their cutting speed makes them ideal for large laser cutting projects or long cuts. Depending on the client’s requirements and project delivery deadlines, the time savings from continuous wave can be a powerful factor too.

 

CO2 laser beams are reflected to a certain extent by all metals, but aluminum is particularly reflective. Aluminum will reflect a laser beam until a certain power threshold is crossed. Pure aluminum is the most reflective form of the metal; alloyed with other materials, it becomes less reflective and more amenable to wider laser cutting.

 

It is for this purpose that laser cutting machines are equipped, to some extent, with protection against the laser being reflected back into the machine. It is therefore best to ascertain the reflectivity of the material before delving into laser cutting. Fortunately, with over 30 years’ experience in metal fabrication and laser cutting, we know what to look out for and equipped to guide you through unfamiliar processes.

 

Baseline Custom Fabricating are a reputed laser cutting service in Toronto and Scarborough. We employ the latest in machinery and a highly skilled team to take care of your laser cutting and metal fabricating project. We are certified with the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) Div. 2.1. Our services are flexible and we take on projects large and small, simple and complex.

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