The application of fiber laser cutting technology in the industry is still only a few years ago. Many companies have realized the advantages of fiber lasers. With the continuous improvement of cutting technology, fiber laser cutting has become one of the most advanced technologies in the industry. In 2014, fiber lasers surpassed the CO2 lasers as the largest share of laser sources.
Plasma, flame, and laser cutting techniques are common in several thermal energy cutting methods, while laser cutting provides the best cutting efficiency, especially for fine features and holes cutting with the diameter to thickness ratios less than 1:1. Therefore, laser cutting technology is also the preferred method for strict fine cutting.
Fiber laser cutting has received a lot of attention in the industry because it provides both cutting speed and quality achievable with CO2 laser cutting, and significantly reduces maintenance and operating costs.
Advantages Of Fiber Laser Cutting
Fiber lasers offer users the lowest operating costs, the best beam quality, the lowest power consumption and the lowest maintenance costs.
The most important and significant advantage of fiber-cutting technology should be its energy efficiency. With fiber laser complete solid-state digital modules and a single design, fiber laser cutting systems have electro-optical conversion efficiencies higher than carbon dioxide laser cutting. For each power unit of a carbon dioxide cutting system, the actual general utilization is about 8% to 10%. For fiber laser cutting systems, users can expect higher power efficiency, between 25% and 30%. In other words, the fiber-optic cutting system consumes about three to five times less energy than the carbon dioxide cutting system, resulting in an increase in energy efficiency of greater than 86%.
Fiber lasers have short-wavelength characteristics that increase the absorption of the beam by the cutting material and can cut materials such as brass and copper as well as non-conductive materials. A more concentrated beam produces a smaller focus and a deeper depth of focus, so that fiber lasers can quickly cut thinner materials and cut medium-thickness materials more efficiently. When cutting materials up to 6mm thick, the cutting speed of a 1.5kW fiber laser cutting system is equivalent to the cutting speed of a 3kW CO2 laser cutting system. Since the operating cost of fiber cutting is lower than the cost of a conventional carbon dioxide cutting system, this can be understood as an increase in output and a decrease in commercial cost.
There are also maintenance issues. Carbon dioxide gas laser systems require regular maintenance; mirrors require maintenance and calibration, and the resonators require regular maintenance. On the other hand, fiber laser cutting solutions require almost no maintenance. Carbon dioxide laser cutting systems require carbon dioxide as a laser gas. Due to the purity of carbon dioxide gas, the cavity is polluted and needs to be cleaned regularly. For a multi-kilowatt CO2 system, this cost at least $20,000 per year. In addition, many carbon dioxide cuts require high-speed axial turbines to deliver laser gas, while turbines require maintenance and refurbishment. Finally, compared to carbon dioxide cutting systems, fiber cutting solutions are more compact and have less impact on the ecological environment, so less cooling is required and energy consumption is significantly reduced.
The combination of less maintenance and higher energy efficiency allows fiber laser cutting to emit less carbon dioxide and is more environmentally friendly than carbon dioxide laser cutting systems.
Fiber lasers are used in a wide range of applications, including laser fiber optic communications, industrial shipbuilding, automotive manufacturing, sheet metal processing, laser engraving, medical devices, and more. With the continuous development of technology, its application field is still expanding.
How fiber laser cutting machine works —fiber laser light-emitting principle