Use this list to explore more.
Laser cut aluminium composite sheet, a service which would be very useful to many customers. Precise laser cutting with sharper part detail and tighter part nesting for improved efficiency.
If laser cutting aluminium composite sounds too good to be true then unfortunately it is, a composite plastic/ metal substrate like ACM can't be cut properly with CNC laser. The combination of these two materials gives aluminium composite all the benefits we like, cost effectiveness, lightness of weight, ease of folding. When it comes to laser cutting we lose out.
Aluminium composite is manufactured from a plastic core with metal skins bonded to either side. Individually these materials can be cut by laser beam with ease. The plastic used in ACM is very easy to laser cut; it requires very little wattage and no special shield gas.
The thin aluminium gauges used in composite sheets; these on their own can be cut easily with an industrial laser. Connect up the correct shield gas and your laser beam will blast it's way through the aluminium.
It all sounds pretty straightforward so far so what's the big problem with laser cut aluminium composite?
When we combine the two material ingredients into an aluminium composite sheet this is where laser cutting becomes a non starter.
With plastic needing low power and no shield gas and aluminium requiring higher power with high pressure shielding we've combined two materials with very different laser cutting characteristics. The end result? Laser cut with enough power to cut the plastic core cleanly and you won't penetrate either of the aluminium skins.
OK, so let's ramp up the laser cutting power so we've got enough strength to punch through the front and back skins of aluminium. We're good to go, right? Not exactly. By increasing the laser cutting power we have managed to cut cleanly through the aluminium face but now we've got too much power, too much heat for the plastic core. Instead of cutting aluminium composite with our laser we're simply using laser power to melt the sheet into an unusable mess.