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in Metal Laser Cutting by Platinum (18.4k points)
Can a CO2 laser cut metal? How many watts do I need to cut?

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by Platinum (18.4k points)
 
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Yes, lasers can cut metal, but the specific type of laser matters. CO2 lasers, which emit infrared light at a wavelength of 10.6 micrometers, are generally not suitable for cutting metals due to their wavelength and the material's reflective properties.

For cutting metals, fiber lasers are more commonly used. Fiber lasers operate at a wavelength around 1 micrometer, allowing them to be highly absorbed by metals. This absorption results in more efficient and precise metal cutting.

The required wattage for laser cutting metal depends on the type and thickness of the metal being cut. Thicker and denser materials generally require higher wattage. For example, cutting thin sheets of steel may require around 500 watts, while cutting thicker or more reflective metals like aluminum might necessitate a laser with a power range of 1000 watts or more.

For specific and up-to-date information on laser cutting power requirements, it's recommended to refer to authoritative sources such as laser system manufacturers' websites or industry guides. Companies like TRUMPF, Amada, or IPG Photonics provide detailed specifications and guidelines for their laser cutting systems, including wattage requirements for various metal thicknesses. Additionally, resources like The Fabricator and SPI Lasers can offer insights into laser cutting applications and best practices.

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