Which Industries Use Laser Technology?
The Laser is one of the most versatile modern technologies. Since its invention in 1960, it has found its way into a wide range of industries, many of which are quite surprising! So, in this article, I want to break down some of the key industries that are using Lasers in 2019.
Manufacturing is probably the most obvious place to start, as laser cutting and laser engraving technology play a large role in modern day manufacture. The precision offered by a Laser makes it ideal for making parts that are accurate to incredibly high tolerances. Furthermore, Lasers can be made sufficiently powerful that they can cut or mark even the strongest materials. This makes them a natural fit for all sorts of manufacturing tasks, as they can work with almost any material to incredibly high tolerances.
More recently, companies like Needham Laser Technologies have begun to offer smaller laser cutting and laser engraving machines. This has opened up laser cutting technology to a whole host of smaller manufacturing businesses and even hobbyists. Certainly, the laser is no longer exclusively the tool of heavy industry.
Beyond cutting, Lasers are also used in the construction industry for a range of tasks.
Laser welding is a method that can be used to weld together metals and also thermoplastics. As Lasers can achieve incredibly high temperatures at a tiny, localised point, they are ideal for welding together even the toughest materials.
Besides heat, Lasers are also invaluable for measuring. A Laser is controlled light, and light travels in straight lines, so Lasers can be used for measuring perfectly straight line distances to a very high degree of accuracy. This is clearly incredibly useful in construction, where Lasers are used to measure distances where other measuring methods are not feasible. Similarly, Lasers can be used like a much more precise spirit level to check that constructions are perfectly level.
Another, lesser known use of Lasers comes from telecommunications. Specifically, fibre optic cables transmit data using pulses of light. As Lasers are essentially a form of highly controllable light, they are the ideal light source for transmission through fibre optic cables. So, that means that cable connectivity, in particular internet connectivity, is underpinned by laser technology.
The idea of using lasers to communicate is also used in space, where lasers can be used over large distances due to the fact it is a vacuum. This for of communication is used for transferring information between satellites. This is a much newer technology, although it has the potential to revolutionise internet transmission.
From outer space to the makeup counter, lasers have also found a range of uses within the beauty industry. There are a huge range of products that use lasers to help treat skin conditions, fight the signs of aging and also laser hair removal. The idea of using light to help treat skin is not exactly new – sun beds have been around for a long time. However the use of lasers to remove hair is probably not something the Laser’s inventor would ever have envisioned!
From science fiction to a reality, lasers have come along way in the past 50 years. As this article shows, they are now commonplace in a diverse range of industries.