Laser cutting of a rectangular geometry into aluminum alloy 2024 is carried out. Temperature and stress fields are predicted in the cutting section using the ABAQUS finite element code in line with the experimental conditions. Effect of the size of the rectangular geometry on the thermal stress fields is examined in the cutting section. Temperature predictions are validated through the thermocouple data. To identify the morphological changes in the cutting section, an experiment is carried out and the resulting cutting sections are examined under optical and scanning electron microscopes. It is found that temperature and stress fields are affected by the size of the rectangular cut geometry. Temperature and von Mises stress attains higher values for small size rectangular geometry as compared to its counterpart corresponding to the large size geometry. Laser cut sections are free from large size asperities including sideways burning and out-off flatness at the cut edges. Locally scattered some small dross attachments are observed at the kerf exit. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.