4. What is the CO2 laser used for?
CO2 lasers are typically used with power ranging from 10 to 400 watts for marking, cutting, or engraving thin, organic materials including plastics, textiles, or wood. Very sharp cutting quality can be accomplished by cutting PMMA (“acrylic”, “Plexiglas”) - when processed correctly, the cutting edges are just as transparent as the surrounding exteriors of the workpiece.
CO2 lasers with increased power between 1 to 6 kilowatts are typical industrial lasers used for welding, hardening or remelting metals. In modern production, CO2 lasers are increasingly used for oxide-free laser cutting. In particular, the laser cutting machines are used for small batches in sheet metal processing. For larger quantities, however, punching is still the more economical option.
The CO2 laser is used in a wide variety of industries. At the forefront is the automotive industry, where lasers are used to perforate the breaking point in the dashboard for airbags. Headliners or side panels are also manufactured using CO2 lasers.
Even in the clothing industry, there is a variety of applications for the CO2 laser. From fabric blanks to the texturing of jeans, the laser is an environmentally-friendly alternative to chemical and abrasive processes.
Cutting fiber-reinforced plastics like GRP and CRP in one application that isn't going away soon. The automotive, aviation, or wind energy industries, use these fiber-reinforced plastics as part of the solution to critical issues of the times, including sustainability, climate protection, and resource efficiency.