Laser tube cutting has opened up previously untrodden paths in the fields of construction, building and structural metalwork. With conventional tube cutting processes, it had been unthinkable to design certain structures or components using steel or other materials.
Industries and companies are finally able to provide the market with new solutions – or support technological innovation – because of the countless solutions provided by laser tube and profile cutting systems.
If you have not looked into the many advantages of laser cutting of metal tubes and profiles, this is the article for you.
What sectors are involved in the cutting of metal tubes and profiles?
There are countless markets and sectors involved in the technological development of laser tube cutting.
There are many machining and cutting processes that can be performed on metal tubes. The most widespread and most popular include perforations, slots, notching and end cuts, which allow joints to be made with other tubes or sheets.
These range from the construction of assembled frames for buses and agricultural machinery, to furniture and quality designer lamps, to complex systems using square cross-section tube frames in machine and plant construction.
Where large to medium-sized tube constructions are used, 90% have been laser cut to achieve the end results. This should come as no surprise! There are no tools as flexible as laser cutting systems for metal tubes and profiles.
There is no end to the number of innovative products that can be obtained by laser tube cutting systems, in short time frames and with no tooling costs.
Components used in the furniture industry, construction, the automotive market for commercial vehicles and heavy goods vehicles. Customised, replicable processes in machine and plant construction, agriculture, fitness, air conditioning and energy technology.
What is the truly innovative aspect of laser tube cutting?
One of the most important processes involved in metal tube cutting is chamfering. The technological advancement brought about by laser systems for tubes makes it possible to program the adjustment of the cutting angle of edges.
Machines equipped with a 3D laser cutting head have made laser cutting of tubes simpler in metalwork where full penetration welds are required.
Another unique feature of laser cutting for metal or steel tubes is the processing of metal profiles. Unlike round or rectangular cross-section tubes, profiles have distinctive geometric shapes and are usually produced for different applications.
To name just one, control cabins for earth-moving machines are assembled using a metal profile structure. Or special parts for lighting systems, door or window frames.
Workable sizes for cutting steel tubes
The uniqueness of tube cutting with the new laser systems lies in their ability to process not only steel parts, but also carbon alloy or stainless steel metals. Innovative fiber-optic technology makes it possible to cut aluminium, copper and brass tubes.
As mentioned earlier, laser cutting enables the processing of round tubes, as well as special profiles of various angle openings.
- Round tubes
- Square or rectangular cross-section tubes
- Oval or elliptical tubes
- Specialist closed or open profiles
- Joints, positioners and connectors of various types
But most importantly, it allows the cutting of square and rectangular cross-section tubes, by means of innovative fiber laser processing, which has made it possible to process shapes other than standard tubes, with no need for special equipment.
Innovative laser tube cutting processes allow the cutting of complex profiles with a high degree of accuracy, reducing lead times for new products and optimising waste.
Advantages of laser cutting for metal or steel tubes
We have described in detail the benefits of using a FIBERTUBE laser machine, Cutlite Penta’s innovative laser cutting system for metal tubes.
The main advantage of opting for laser cutting for metal tubes is the high degree of flexibility in usage and high processing performance. Both in terms of speed and quality of the finished product. The laser provides a freedom of processing that no other tube cutting tool can match.
Compared to traditional metal tube cutting systems, lasers guarantee a better finish of the job. Because of the response of the beam on the metal surface and the regularity of the etching.
Cutting tubes using a laser system is now the go-to choice for all companies that require a high-quality cutting execution, along with the ability to mass-produce prototypes easily, rapidly and inexpensively.
The high productivity and high degree of automation make laser cutting systems for tubes and profiles the key factor for manufacturers and distributors. Two features which, nowadays, make the difference in market competitiveness.
Not only rapidity and speed of execution. Cutlite Penta’s fleet of machines designed for cutting metal tubes is characterised by systems that also provide the option of creating long, complex machining operations. Such as those required by manufacturers of industrial and agricultural vehicles.
The tremendous versatility of the machine, which allows tubes of different cross-sections, materials and thicknesses to be processed with no need for costly specialist tooling, is esteemed by companies operating in the contract machining sector. In particular for the execution of tasks in structural work.
Cutlite Penta laser tube cutting machines are capable of handling multiple cutting assist gases. Oxygen and air are usually used for cutting iron pipes and nitrogen for cutting stainless steel pipes. The machine’s CNC manages the execution of all cutting operations required by the program as well as the unloading of finished parts.
Cutting steel tubes with a laser: fiber or CO2?
To cut tubes with laser systems, fiber-optic cutting sources are generally preferred.
What drives the use of fiber lasers is the advantage of having the following:
- low electricity consumption costs
- no maintenance required of the source
- extremely high cutting speeds
- ability to cut various types of metal (such as copper, brass, and metal alloys).
Fiber-optic laser sources have remarkable focusing capabilities. This makes the system more stable, allows the spot diameter to be concentrated onto a smaller area, for a much more accurate tube cut.
CO2 laser sources – despite being a low-energy laser source – are still a viable alternative that you can always take into consideration when cutting thick tubes (substrates thicker than 4/5 mm) or mild steel tubes.
Find out more about Cutlite Penta laser systems for cutting tubes and metal profiles. Or contact our supervisors for more information on our cutting systems.