Steel tubes are used to produce a vast array of products such as water pipelines, steel furniture, machine frames and even fine tubes of less than 200µm in diameter that are used within the medical device industry.
In fact, thousands of miles of pipelines, tubes and profiles are formed and cut every day. Often the machines used for this diverse range of applications have lasers at the heart of the process and with a complete range of laser sources and solutions available, Laser Resources is becoming involved in an increasing number of applications.
The benefits of speed and precision come when lasers are applied to cutting and profiling operations on tubes. In instances where traditional methods such as drilling, milling, sawing or die cutting reach their limits, laser cutting opens up new possibilities.
Traditional methods of cutting and machining tubes generate mechanical loads which in turn can induce stresses into the materials and parts being processed. Laser cutting, on the other hand, is a contact free and highly flexible process. Simple program changes enable different parts and profiles to be produced without the need to perform any tool changing operations. The thermal load on components which are cut using lasers is also minimal as demonstrated by Rofin’s StarCut Tube System, which is used to manufacture miniature and intricate components such as 200µm diameter medical stents precisely and accurately in under 60 seconds.
The laser cutting process is not restricted to small and thin section parts. Larger parts can be cut reliably and quickly by the laser, whether it is simple web cuts or very complex notch and contour cuts, the laser makes short work of the process.