How Leveling Affects Laser Cutting

Laser cutting in Toronto has come a long way in the last few decades and the latest machines provide great speeds both during and between cuts. However, parts can still cause some issues and in fabrication and assembly even after processing with the bests profiling equipment. This has to do with material itself. When the beam cuts through a smooth, burr free edge, trapped internal stresses within the material can turn it to bow, sometimes even very dramatically.


Since laser cutting in Toronto is at the heart of the province’s industry, material flatness is at the forefront in metal fabrication.


Multiple stages in metal fabrication can cause unequal stress. For example, when steel is being made, it goes through extreme heat treatment and is drawn back to its given yield and tensile range through cooling. Leveling, contrary to popular belief, does not eliminate the stress on metal but simply equalizes it.


Lasers have to be close to the surface of parts during cutting, so a bow can be very dangerous to the laser head and the entire process. A material can appear flat or at rest but portions of it are actually under tension and are hung up on the stress-strain curve. Generally, there are four ways to flatten metal sheet, including roller leveling, temper rolling, tension leveling and stretch leveling. Of these types, roller leveling is the most common process.


The pushing effect created by deep-penetrating rolls can cause problems such as edge wave. But this is beneficial when it comes to flattening metal for laser cutting because a gentle pull results in a flat, straight bandage. As the manufacturing industry demands more precision, measuring flatness accurately is very critical. That is why most manufacturers use sophisticated systems to measure and determine flatness of sheets and parts. The proof of a fabricator’s capacity for leveling is in the result. When the laser machine consistently and cleanly produces parts which stay flat after cutting, the fabricator is doing things properly.


That is exactly what we do at Metal-Tronics, with the latest laser cutting machinery which allows us to work with a range of materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, mild steel and galvanized materials. Our facility and capabilities make us one of the most competitive fabricators for laser cutting in Toronto.