Copper is a widely used metal, but it is rarely one of the easiest to cut. Today, most meal cutting takes place using laser cutting machines. Laser cutting is popular for the speed at which the work can be carried out, the accuracy and repeatability that the machines offer, and the reduced wastage. However, problems can occur when you need to cut copper. Some laser cutting machines will struggle with copper cutting because of the reflective nature of the metal.
What's the problem with copper?
Laser cutting machines don't possess a conventional blade to cut the metal. Instead, they rely on a laser beam to divide the metal. Copper, along with other non-ferrous metals, is reflective and can quickly transfer heat away from the area that the beam is cutting, preventing it from making the desired cut or reflecting it elsewhere. Not only is it frustrating when you are trying to cut something to size, but it is also potentially dangerous and likely to harm the machine.
Working with copper
While copper cutting can be challenging, it is certainly possible if you have the right equipment. If you are looking for a copper cutting company, you should always ask them how much experience they have with their equipment. If the company attempts copper cutting with a laser cutting machine that has insufficient power the resulting cuts could be rougher than you expect. This roughness would make the copper unsuitable for the decorative or technical requirements of your project. If you have any doubts about the suitability of the company, always ask them if they have any samples of their copper cutting available. The samples will enable you to assess for yourself whether they are the right choice.
What else can you check?
Any company that you choose to work with should be reliable and professional. When deciding whether you have found the right copper cutting company, you might consider making a site visit to see the copper cutting machines in use. Ask the cutting company not just about the types of metal they can cut, but also what thicknesses their machinery can comfortably manage. A good copper cutting machine should cut copper and bronze that is 10mm thick, so find out what projects similar to yours they are currently cutting, and arrange your visit so that you can see whether the cutting is of a sufficient standard for your project.