CO2 vs. Fiber Laser Technology: Which is right for you?

When choosing the right laser technology to use there are several factors to consider between a fiber or CO2 laser. One of the main factors to consider is the type and thickness of the material you’re cutting. This article carefully and comprehensive analyses the cutting equipment and also the impact the new equipment will’ve on other existing sheet metal fabricating processes. a fiber laser can be used to cut all the materials cut by a CO2 as well as copper, aluminum and brass much better and safer than the co2 laser cutter. The fiber laser beam is more readily absorbed and not reflected.

Choosing a co2 laser cutter

Unlike a fiber laser, a CO2 laser produces a better edge quality on thick-plate stainless and aluminum material. Also, the CO2 cutter offer the ultimate when considering flexibility for users across a wide range of complex laser usage including non-metal materials.

Users in the thinner metal market tend to prefer fiber cutters, although with power increasing the application area is growing. More details!

Cost of laser cutters

The cost is a significant factor as fiber laser operating costs are half that of CO2 laser cutter due to low high electrical efficiency and lower consumption. The fiber laser is able to save energythrough the resonator and the chiller unit.  For instant when running the 4kw fiber laser and chiller at maximum power, will consume approximately 18kW. The CO2 laser and chiller running at the same power consumes approximately 70kW.

Benefits of Fiber Laser Cutting Technology

The main benefit of using a fiber laser technology to cut flat sheet metal comes from its monolithic, “Fiber-to-Fiber”, the compact solid-state design configuration that is responsible for a free and lower cost of operation unlike with CO2 lasers.

A fiber laser beam has a faster cutting speed than CO2 lasers attributed to the higher absorption of the fiber wavelength and a greater density at the focal point.

The fiber laser cutting system cuts up to one-inch thick with higher fiber laser powers and even cut faster when utilizing nitrogen as the assist gas, and more importantly the 5/15 inch and under range of steel when compared to CO2 systems.

When working with stainless, brass, copper and aluminum material, fiber laser technology is the fastest and the most economic regardless of the thickness.

When to choose a CO2 laser cutter?

A high-power fiber laser cutter cuts up to 5 times faster than the conventional CO2 laser and uses half the operating costs. More interesting CO2 cutter need warm-up time about 10 minutes per start-up, and have beam path maintenance such as mirror and lens cleaning, beam alignment and bellows checks.

Notably the fiber laser cutter is the best although their adoption has been slow in the market. the main reason being CO2 lasers are a tried-and-true technology and manufactures are hesitant to invest so much in something entirely new, and if the usage fits fiber laser can be a great option.

To conclude

To choose which machine technology to use for your business, it matters of reviewing your application and materials used. One business might benefit from using spend of a fiber laser while another need cutting quality of a CO2 laser cutter.

Whatever the final conclusion, don’t forget about the impact of the laser cutter on our downstream processes. what will the technology add to your cutting system, what is the flow if operation before n after the parts are cut. Click here for more information: