Glossary of laser cutting terms - T. From Tesko Laser, providing laser cutting and metal fabricating services. Tesko Laser Division - photos
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Glossary of laser cutting terms - T



Taper is the difference between the top profile of the laser cut verses the bottom profile of the laser cut. Typically, the laser cut width is narrower at the bottom than at the top.

TEA Laser

An acronym for transversely excited atmospheric laser. This CO2 gas laser uses a transverse flow of gas and operates at higher pressures than other gas lasers, generally near atmospheric pressure. The result is a higher energy beam.


TEM is an abbreviation for Transverse ElectroMagnetic modes. This term is used to designate the cross-sectional shape of the beam.

Thermal Conductivity

A measure of a materials ability to move heat from one place to another. During laser cutting, the cut zone should be heated without wasting energy heating up surrounding workpiece material. Materials with high thermal conductivity, such as copper and aluminum, cutting is slowed down as heat escapes from the cut zone.


Polymers that can be repeatedly melted down and cast into new shapes. Thermoplastics include polypropylene, polystyrene, polyethylene, polyamide (nylon) and others.


Materials that cannot be remelted once they have been made into their initial shape. Epoxies, phenolic resins, and most natural rubber products are included in this category.

Titanium Alloys

Alloys of titanium that are tough, strong, light and corrosion resistant. Titanium reacts energetically with oxygen which results in poor edge quality, widespread burning, and hard and brittle cut edges. For this reason chemically inert gases such as argon or helium are recommended for use in cutting titanium.


A traverse is normal machine movement without laser cutting. For example, a laser is traversing when moving the cutting head into position to cut.


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