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Fiber Laser Cutting VS CO2 Laser Cutting: Pros and Cons

Fiber Laser Cutting VS CO2 Laser Cutting: Pros and Cons

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1. Compare from the structure of laser equipment

In the carbon dioxide(CO2) laser cutting technology, CO2 gas is the medium that generates the laser beam. However, fiber lasers are transmitted through diodes and fiber optic cables. The fiber laser system generates a laser beam through multiple diode pumps, and then transmits it to the laser cutting head through a flexible fiber optic cable instead of transmitting the beam through a mirror.

It has many advantages, the first is the size of the cutting bed. Unlike the gas laser technology, the reflector must be set within a certain distance, there is no range limit. Moreover, the fiber laser can even be installed next to the plasma cutting head of the plasma cutting bed. There is no such option for CO2 laser cutting technology. Similarly, when compared with a gas cutting system of the same power, the fiber laser system is more compact due to the ability of the fiber to bend.


2. Compare from the conversion efficiency of electro-optics

The most important and meaningful advantage of fiber cutting technology should be its energy efficiency. With fiber laser complete solid-state digital module and single design, fiber laser cutting system has higher electro-optical conversion efficiency than co2 laser cutting. For each power supply unit of the co2 cutting system, the actual general utilization rate is about 8% to 10%. For fiber laser cutting systems, users can expect higher power efficiency, about 25% to 30%. In other words, the overall energy consumption of the fiber cutting system is about 3 to 5 times less than that of the co2 cutting system, which improves the energy efficiency to more than 86%.


3. Contrast from the cutting effect

Fiber laser has the characteristics of short wavelength, which improves the absorption of the cutting material to the beam, and enables cutting 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 the fiber laser can cut thinner materials quickly and cut medium-thick materials more effectively. When cutting materials up to 6mm thick, the cutting speed of a 1.5kW fiber laser cutting system is equivalent to that of a 3kW CO2 laser cutting system. Therefore, the operating cost of fiber cutting is lower than that of a common CO2 cutting system.


4. Compare from the maintenance cost

In terms of machine maintenance, fiber laser cutting is more environmentally friendly and convenient. The co2 laser system needs regular maintenance, for example, the reflector needs maintenance and calibration, and the resonant cavity needs regular maintenance. On the other hand, the fiber laser cutting solution hardly requires any maintenance. The co2 laser cutting system requires co2 as the laser gas. Due to the purity of the carbon dioxide gas, the resonant cavity will be contaminated and needs to be cleaned regularly. For a multi-kilowatt co2 system, this item will cost at least 20,000USD per year. In addition, many CO2 cutting requires high-speed axial turbines to deliver laser gas, and the turbines require maintenance and overhaul.


5. What Materials Can CO2 Lasers And Fiber Lasers Cut?

Materials CO2 laser cutters can work with:

Wood, Acrylic, Brick, Fabric, Rubber, Pressboard, Leather, Paper, Cloth, Wood Veneer, Marble, Ceramic Tile, Matte Board, Crystal, bamboo products, Melamine, Anodized Aluminium, Mylar, Epoxy resin, Plastic, Cork, Fiberglass, and Painted Metals.


Materials fiber laser can work with:

Stainless Steel, Carbon steel, Aluminum, copper, Silver, Gold, Carbon fiber, Tungsten, Carbide, Non-semiconductor ceramics, Polymers, Nickel, Rubber, Chrome, Fiberglass, Coated and Painted Metal

From the above comparison, whether choose a Fiber Laser Cutter or choose co2 cutting machine depends on your application and budget. But on the other hand, though the application field of CO2 laser cutting is very bigger, the fiber laser cutting still occupies a higher advantage in terms of energy saving and cost. The economic benefits brought by optical fiber are much higher than that of CO2. In the future development trend , fiber laser cutting machine will occupy the status of mainstream equipment.

Post time: Dec-16-2021