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Chapter 3-Materials (eChapter)

Author(s)/Editor(s): Charles L Caristan, PhD
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Published: 08/14/2003
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Metals are the subject of continuous research to enhance their ability to be processed with lasers, particularly for cutting and welding applications. The following sections describe other key material parameters and their impact on laser-cutting output. Laser cutting offers a variety of opportunities and challenges, whether the material is mild steel with deep drawability for appliance panels and automobile body sheets; high-strength steels for structural members; stainless steel for kitchen utensils; aluminum, titanium, and nickel alloys for the aerospace and energy industries; or copper alloys in the electronics industry. Steel is the principal metal that is cut with lasers due to the large volume of industrial applications and because it is one of the easiest to laser cut.