Can a laser engraving or cutting machine cut glass?

We all know that glass is an important industrial material which widely used in many industries, such as the automotive industry, construction industry, medical, display, electronic products and other industries.

The remarkable feature of glass is hard and brittle, which brings great difficulties to processing. Conventional cutting for glass adopts carbide or diamond cutters. The cutting process generally include: firstly, draw a mark on the surface of the glass with a diamond tip or a hard alloy wheel or a high-hardness metal wheel, and then means to glass by the mechanical. During the scoring process on the glass with a grinding wheel or mechanical wheel, a tangential tension along the cutting direction is produced, thereby causing the glass to crack along the scratch. The result of this method is that the edges are not smooth and there are tiny cracks, and asymmetrical edge stress and residual debris remain on the material. For many applications, small cracks caused by debris and local stress will cause the device to fail, so it is necessary to polish and polish the cut edges to strengthen the edges. In addition, auxiliary processing is required to assist the cutting in the mechanical wheel processing, and the auxiliary agent may also adhere to the edge of the finished product, and needs to be treated by water cleaning or ultrasonic cleaning. Subsequent processing steps and low yields will increase the cost of finished glass products.

Nowadays, the quality requirements for glass products are getting higher and higher, and more precise and meticulous processing results must be realized. Because traditional processes have been difficult to meet the requirements of no micro cracks and edge quality, technological innovation of glass cutting is urgently needed. The laser cutting technology has matured and has been successfully applied in the cutting of sheet metal and pipe, organic sheet and pipe materials. While glass is an inorganic material with low thermal conductivity. Theoretically, laser cutting should have good results for glass.

The principle of laser cutting glass

The method of laser cutting for glass can be divided into two principles i: one is a melting (evaporation) cutting method, and the other is a crack control method.

Melt cutting

Taking the advantages of glass owning better plasticity and ductility at a softening temperature, with a focused CO2 laser or UV laser to the softened glass surface, the higher energy density of the laser causes the glass to melt. Then the molten glass is blown off with a gas stream to create a groove to effect melt cutting of the glass.

Crack control method

This is a common laser cutting method. Firstly, laser heating the surface of the glass, the higher energy will cause the temperature of the glass to rise sharply, and the surface will generate a large compressive stress, but the compressive stress will not cause the glass to rupture; secondly, take a rapid cooling to the area. It is generally using cooling gas or coolant, and a sharp temperature drop will cause a large temperature gradient and a large tensile stress on the glass surface, this tensile stress will make the glass surface along the direction of the predetermined line rupture and realize glass cutting.

Other common laser cutting glass questions?

1.Can the laser cutting machine cut transparent glass?

Transparent glass can certainly be cut, but tempered glass, quartz glass is more difficult, and glass material will cause chipping problems.

If it is a large piece of glass that does not require high cutting precision, then machining is the most suitable.

If the glass is very thin and the precision is very high, such as the mobile phone screen, the rear cover, or the glass for experimental research, which are more suitable cutting way with a small power laser.

2. Can tempered glass be cut by laser?

Tempered glass cannot be cut with a laser cutting machine.

The tempered glass can’t be cut and processed, and the glass can only be processed to the required shape before tempering, and then tempered.

If you still don’t understand, please contact Focuslaser