There are two types of laser cutting machines: fiber laser cutting machines and CO₂ laser cutting machines. The main difference between them is that the laser generates different media, and there are also certain differences in processing materials, production costs, maintenance costs, cutting efficiency, and other aspects.
Compared to carbon dioxide laser cutting machines, fiber laser cutting machines have more powerful performance. Production, processing, and equipment maintenance costs are lower, making it a better choice.
Let's learn about the difference between fiber laser cutting machine and CO₂ laser cutting machine. And whether the laser cutting machine is better for optical fiber or carbon dioxide.
Laser cutting machines can be divided into fiber laser cutting machines and carbon dioxide laser cutting machines according to the different working media used. The main differences between these two types of laser cutting machines are:
The CO₂ laser engraving machine uses a CO₂ laser tube to generate a laser beam. The working medium is mainly CO₂, with O₂, He, Xe, and other auxiliary gases. The CO₂ laser beam is reflected and focused onto the laser cutting head by the focusing lens.
The fiber laser cutting machine for sale uses a fiber laser as the cutting light source. The fiber laser cutting machine generates a laser beam through multiple diode pumps, and then the laser beam is transmitted to the laser cutting head through a flexible fiber optic cable. Suitable for cutting and processing materials such as metals, alloys, stainless steel, etc.
The beam wavelength of CO₂ laser is 10.64um, which is more easily absorbed by non-metallic materials. It is suitable for cutting non-metallic materials, such as fabric, leather, rubber, wood, etc.
The beam wavelength of a fiber laser is 1.064um, which is 10 times shorter. Due to this smaller focal length, the intensity of fiber laser cutting machines is almost 100 times higher than that of CO₂ laser cutting machines with equivalent power output.
Fiber laser has advantages such as high energy density, good beam quality, long fiber life, and stable optical path. Fiber laser cutting machine, also known as metal laser cutting machine, mainly targets metal materials. For example, stainless steel, carbon steel, galvanized steel, copper, aluminum, etc.
The material thickness that fiber laser cutting machines can cut is smaller than that of CO₂ cutting machines, generally below 20mm. The CO₂ laser cutting machine is suitable for cutting materials with larger thicknesses, usually up to 25mm.
Due to the use of fiber lasers in fiber laser cutting machines, they have advantages such as high energy density and good beam quality. The accuracy and stability during the cutting process are high, and the cutting effect is relatively ideal.
When the carbon dioxide laser cutting machine cuts non-metallic materials, certain burrs will appear on the edges that need to be treated after cutting.
Fiber laser cutting machines are faster than CO₂ laser cutting machines. Its cutting speed can range from a few meters to over ten meters per minute. And the reaction speed and processing speed of the fiber laser cutting machine are faster.
CO₂ laser engraving machine has a large beam divergence during processing, which is not suitable for large-scale processing. Although the kerf is relatively small, the speed is very slow when processing thick plates.
Fiber laser cutting machine is characterized by high laser beam density, high intensity, high brightness and high conversion rate. For thin plate processing, the cutting speed of fiber laser cutting machine is 2-3 times higher than that of CO₂ laser cutting machine with the same power.
CO₂ laser cutting machines consume a large amount of gas during operation, with a photoelectric conversion rate of only 8% to 10%. The fiber laser cutting machine consumes less energy during the processing, with a photoelectric conversion rate of up to 25% -30%.
The structure of CO₂ laser tubes is complex, and the optical lenses are fragile and expensive. Replacing these consumables requires a significant cost. So the maintenance cost of CO₂ laser cutting machines is very high.
Fiber laser cutting is basically maintenance free and has fewer vulnerable parts. It can withstand harsh working environments and has high resistance to dust, impact, humidity, and temperature. Therefore, the maintenance cost of fiber laser cutting machines is relatively low.
Compared with carbon dioxide laser cutting machine, fiber laser cutting machine is generally considered to be better. There are three main reasons:
From the perspective of equipment maintenance costs, the maintenance cost of carbon dioxide laser cutting machines is enormous. Not only are the front and rear mirrors expensive, but the lifespan of the turbine bearings is only 8000 hours. And the replacement cost reaches tens of thousands of dollars per pair.
However, the fiber laser cutting machine is maintenance free and has almost no consumables. And able to handle harsh working environments, with a high tolerance for dust, vibration, impact, humidity, and temperature.
From the perspective of processing cost, the CO₂ laser cutting machine not only generates gas consumption during processing, but also has a photoelectric conversion rate of only 8% -10%.
The fiber laser cutting machine does not require any other consumption during processing. And its photoelectric conversion rate can reach 30%, which is relatively energy-saving and energy-saving.
From a technical perspective, the laser structure of CO₂ laser cutting machines is complex and maintenance costs are high. And during processing, the beam divergence is large, which is not suitable for large format processing. Although the cutting seam is relatively fine, the speed is very slow when processing thick plates.
However, the laser characteristics of fiber laser cutting machines are reflected in miniaturization, intensification, high brightness, and high conversion rate. In terms of sheet metal processing, the cutting speed of the same power fiber laser cutting machine is 2-3 times higher than that of carbon dioxide, and the cutting section is smooth.
- Cheap price and stable performance.
- No cooling system is required.
- Slow cutting speed and low power.
- Low cutting accuracy.
- The biggest problem is the limited cutting range, which makes it very difficult to cut thin plates.
- Fiber laser has stable output power and low cost.
- Fast cutting speed, high efficiency, and no noise.
- Cannot cut thick plates and plates with high precision requirements.
- Cannot cut superhard metals and has a certain thermal impact on surrounding metals.
In summary, fiber laser cutting machines have better performance and lower costs, gradually occupying the mainstream of the laser cutting market. Fiber laser cutting machines are becoming increasingly popular. Fiber laser cutting machines use fiber lasers and cables to transmit laser beams. Unlike CO₂ laser cutting machines, fiber laser cutting machines have better consistency and reliability, and can process more detailed patterns.
Applied in various manufacturing and processing industries such as sheet metal processing, aviation, aerospace, electronics, electrical appliances, subway accessories, automobiles, grain machinery, textile machinery, engineering machinery, precision accessories, ships, metallurgical equipment, elevators, household appliances, craft gifts, tool processing, decoration, advertising, metal external processing, kitchen utensils processing, etc.
Cutting of stainless steel, carbon steel, alloy steel, silicon steel, spring steel, aluminum, aluminum alloy, galvanized sheet, aluminum zinc plate, pickling plate, copper, silver, gold, titanium and other metal plates and pipes.
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With the development of society, people's requirements for cutting are also increasing. Especially for laser cutting equipment, various types of laser cutting machines have emerged in the market. How should we choose when making a purchase?
With the development of fiber laser cutting machines and their various advantages, they have gradually replaced the market for CO2 laser cutting machines. At present, carbon dioxide is mainly used to cut non-metallic materials, such as fabric, leather, acrylic, plastic, etc.
Fiber laser cutting machines and carbon dioxide laser cutting machines have their own advantages and disadvantages, and they need to be selected based on specific processing needs. If cutting non-metallic materials, CO₂ laser cutting machines are a good choice. If it is cutting metal materials, fiber laser cutting machines are a better choice.