Fiber Laser Cutting

Briefly, fiber laser light is created by banks of diodes. The light is channeled and amplified through fiber optic cable similar to that used for data transfer. The amplified light, on exiting the fiber cable, is collimated or straightened and then focused by a lens onto the material to be cut.

Creation of the light is 200% more efficient than via a traditional CO2 laser, and delivery is far simpler, with no expensive optical mirrors. The focusing lens, unlike on a conventional CO2 laser machine, is sealed in the cutting head and thus not a consumable item.

Bystronic first launched its fiber laser in the UK in 2010 as a 2 kW machine, which was swiftly followed by a 3 kW and then a 4 kW machine. Interestingly, the 3 kW model remains most popular, with 60% of UK machines delivered being of this power.

If one examines the price-to-performance ratio of the different models, the main cutting speed benefit of the higher-power 4 kW laser is in mid-range materials from 6 to 8 mm thick. There are also small benefits in thickness capacity when cutting non-ferrous materials, typically an increase of one gauge of material. This helps only customers who cut a lot of material in the 6 to 8 mm range or who wish to cover all eventualities, as it is their only laser cutting machine.

The benefits of a true fiber laser source include:

  1. No moving parts or mirrors in the light-generating source, unlike a conventional CO2 resonator or disk laser. This has a distinct advantage in terms of reducing maintenance requirements and operating costs.
  2. Much higher electrical efficiency, resulting in considerably lower running costs. A 3 kW fiber machine uses one third of the power of a 4 kW CO2 machine of average across-the-board performance.
  3. Higher speeds when cutting thin material. Compared with the same 4 kW CO2 machine, the fiber laser is three times quicker in a straight line cutting of 1 mm mild, galvanized, or stainless steel and twice as fast when cutting 2 mm.
  4. An ability to cut reflective materials without fear of back reflections damaging the machine. This allows copper, brass, and aluminium to be cut without problems.
  5. 50% longer servicing intervals and 50% lower servicing costs.

Twist Fab Inc. offers both Fiber and CO2 Laser Cutting Solutions.

Fiber Laser Cutting

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