Tube Laser Cutting: Is it Right for Your Application?

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Tube laser cutting is a state-of-the-art process designed to cut tubes, structural shapes, channels, and some formed or extruded shapes to meet specific application requirements. Industrial tube laser cutting techniques are also used to cut intricate designs and holes or features within the tube structure. So, is tube laser cutting right for your project? Below we take a look at several applications directly benefiting from Fiber or Co2 tube laser cutting services.

How Does Tube Laser Cutting Work?

Tube laser cutting is performed on precision equipment CNC controlled that works by directing a high-powered laser beam at the object that needs to be cut. This beam then focuses on the material and cuts through it with enhanced precision. The laser metal cutting technology uses a precisely narrowed and focused beam of light that vaporizes the tube's metal in precise contact, assist gasses then push the vaporized materials away from cut edge producing an immaculate cut that requires little to no secondary processing.

What Applications Are Used for Tube Laser Cutting?

Tube laser cutting machines are designed to provide precision cuts to stainless steel, steel, aluminum, copper, brass, and bronze and certain non-metal materials. Also, some formed and extruded shapes can also be cut per your fashioned application requirements. Industries such as structural, manufacturing, automotive, and aerospace often use tube laser cutting processes for custom components, including lighting, tube structures, exhaust systems, aircraft and defense parts just to name a few.
Since aerospace and automotive components require precision cut components, tube laser metal fabrication is the most viable option. Custom tube laser cutting metal fabrication shape options include:
  • Round tube
  • Square tube
  • Angle
  • Rectangular shapes
  • Beam
  • Formed shapes
  • Custom extruded shapes

What Are the Advantages of Tube Laser Metal Cutting?

Industrial tube laser cutting provides significant advantages over other cutting methods. Direct tube laser metal fabrication advantages include:

Enhanced Flexibility

Laser tube cutting machines can handle various tube sizes and shapes, providing precision cuts up to 10” across and lengths of 26’. Tube laser cutting’s enhanced flexibility allows for cuts of round, rectangular, or irregular profiles in a range of shapes, sizes, and thicknesses.


Whether using carbon steel, aluminum, stainless steel, copper, brass, bronze, or titanium, laser metal cutting services deliver the results you need. Due to melting risks, reflective materials should be cut with a fiber laser instead of a CO2 cutter. Non-metals can also be cut using a laser cutting machine, including wood, plastic, and Styrofoam.

Increased Efficiency

Laser tube cutters increase efficiency over other cutting methods, including enhanced precision, repeatability, accuracy, and flexibility. Laser cutting also reduces metal waste by utilizing most of the workpiece, so little to no metal is wasted.

High Precision

Laser cutting is a precision process that limits the amount of secondary processing required after the piece is finished; the parts are ready to use or assemble once they come off the laser. A laser cutting machine cuts parts to positioning tolerances within +/- .005” and thermal cut features +/- .010”-.015” so corresponding parts fit together easily.

Cost Efficient

Tube laser cutting’s automation allows a user to complete more parts in less time than conventional cutting methods, allowing for increased production output while reducing labor costs and improving the overall time of completion.

IMS Tube Laser Cutting Capabilities

IMS’ laser metal fabrication services utilize a 4000-watt laser that can cut materials as long as 26’ and as short as one inch. Material cutting thicknesses include:
  • Up to 3/4" for steel
  • Up to 1/4" for stainless steel
  • Up to 1/4" for aluminum
Robotic material handling provides enhanced capabilities, including:
  • 10" diameters for round tubing
  • 8” for rectangle and square tubing
  • 8” square options for structural shapes, including channel and I-beam

The IMS Difference

What separates IMS from other steel suppliers? With an abundance of metal options and customer service that is second to none, IMS has you covered with the following metal stock advantages:
  • Material under same roof as cutting equipment
  • Next-day delivery of processed material via our trucks
  • Same-day pick-up in Will-Call
  • No minimum purchase
  • Unprecedented customer service
  • Support of Just-in-Time manufacturing processes
  • Salespeople that act as an extension of your purchasing department (we will get any metal products you need)
  • Material management (stocking and delivery on a scheduled basis)
  • Credit lines with good terms
  • Seven stores are open six days a week (check each location for specific times)
  • Cut-to-size services
  • Shop by metal alloy

IMS – Your Preferred Destination for High Precision Metal Laser Cutting Services

Looking for a world-class metal supply and distribution company that also provides in-house Hi-Def Plasma, Tube Laser, Flatbed Laser, and Waterjet Cutting Services? IMS is your trusted supplier with decades of expertise. We stock products in the sizes and styles you need. Stop by one of our California or Arizona locations or request a quote today.
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