It took CO2 lasers nearly twenty years to reach the 4kW cutting threshold. Fiber lasers have achieved this level of performance and much more in only five years. Laser cutting services and custom metal fabricators now use even more powerful fiber lasers for cutting sheet metal. Fiber lasers outperform CO2 lasers when it comes to making precise cuts on thin sheets of metal. Keep reading to find out about the many advantages of fiber lasers.
Compact and Powerful Configurations
Fiber lasers feature compact solid state design configurations with fiber-to-fiber capabilities, making these machines much more efficient and powerful than CO2 lasers. This type of laser really shines when it comes to cutting thin sheets of metal. The focal point of a fiber laser can achieve a power density that greatly exceeds that of the strongest industrial CO2 lasers. The shorter wavelength of fiber lasers allows for greater absorption, particularly when the sheets of metal being cut are quite thin, ideally no more than .160″ in thinkness for the best performance and results.
Cutting Thin Sheets
The higher absorption of the fiber laser wavelength and the power density of the focused beam can increase the functionality, precision, and speed of sheet metal laser cutting. This is particularly the case when the sheets being cut are thinner than 1/8″. As the majority of cutting applications involve thinner materials, fiber laser machines can make a substantial difference in the effectiveness and efficiency of cutting metal blanks for most manufacturers.
Low Cost of Operation and Maintenance
CO2 lasers remain more common than fiber lasers, but these machines are neither as economical nor efficient. The major benefits of fiber lasers include the fact that they are cheaper to operate and easier to maintain than CO2 lasers. Fiber lasers require less in maintenance costs, require less power to operate and produce cleaner cuts faster. Metal fabricators should check the optics as well as the steel belt and the straightness and verticality of the track. Regardless of which type of laser is used, it is a good idea to regularly clear dust and dirt and clean and lubricate the guide rails and motors of a cutting machine.
Custom metal fabricators interested in improving the effectiveness of their laser cutting services may be interested in sheet metal laser cutting with fiber lasers, especially on metal sheets that are thin. Ask metal fabrication vendors about their machines and methods and make sure you end up with the best cut.