Thermal cutting methods mainly include flame, plasma and laser cutting techniques, in which laser cutting can achieve the best cutting quality, especially for fine features and hole cutting with diameter and thickness ratio less than 1:1.As a result, laser cutting technology has become the industry's most suitable for strict fine cutting method.
In the field of laser cutting, optical fiber laser cutting has received a lot of attention because it not only provides the speed and cutting quality that carbon dioxide laser cutting can achieve, but also significantly reduces the cost of maintenance and operation.
Main advantages of fiber cutting:
In carbon dioxide laser cutting technology, carbon dioxide gas is the medium to produce laser beam.Optical fiber lasers, however, work through diodes and fiber optic cables.The optical fiber laser system pumps the laser beam through multiple diodes and then transmits the beam via a flexible optical fiber cable to the laser cutting head rather than through a mirror.This has a lot of advantages, the first is cutting bed size.Unlike gas lasers, where the reflector must be set at a certain distance, optical fiber lasers have no range limits.And even the fiber laser can be installed next to the plasma cutting head of the plasma cutting bed, carbon dioxide laser cutting technology does not have this option.Also, compared to a gas cutting system of equal power, the fiber bending ability makes the system more compact.
The most important and significant advantage of fiber cutting technology should be its energy efficiency.With the fiber laser complete solid state digital module, single design, fiber laser cutting system has higher electro-optic conversion efficiency than carbon dioxide laser cutting.For each power unit in a CO2 cutting system, the actual general utilization rate is about 8 to 10 percent.For optical fiber laser cutting systems, users can expect higher power efficiency, about 25 to 30 percent.In other words, the fiber optic cutting system as a whole consumes about three to five times less energy than the CARBON dioxide cutting system, resulting in an energy efficiency increase of more than 86%.
Optical fiber lasers have shortwave properties that increase the absorbability of the cutting material to the beam and allow cutting of materials such as brass and copper as well as non-conductive materials.A more focused beam produces a smaller focus and a deeper focal depth, allowing the fiber laser to cut thinner materials quickly and more efficiently.The cutting speed of 1.5KW fiber laser cutting system is equivalent to that of 3kW carbon dioxide laser cutting system when cutting materials with thickness up to 6mm.Since the operating cost of optical fiber cutting is lower than that of ordinary CARBON dioxide cutting system, this can be interpreted as higher output and lower business cost.
There are also maintenance issues.The CO2 gas laser system needs regular maintenance;The reflector needs to be maintained and calibrated, and the resonator needs to be maintained regularly.Fiber laser cutting solutions, on the other hand, require almost no maintenance.Carbon dioxide laser cutting system needs carbon dioxide as laser gas, due to the purity of carbon dioxide gas, the resonator will be contaminated, need to be cleaned regularly.It costs at least $20, 000 a year for a number of kilowatts of CARBON dioxide.In addition, many CO2 cuts require high-speed axial flow turbines to deliver laser gas, while turbines require maintenance and refurbishment.Finally, fiber optic cutting solutions are more compact and have less impact on the planet than carbon dioxide cutting systems, so they require less cooling and consume significantly less energy.
The combination of less maintenance and higher energy efficiency means that optical fiber laser cutting systems emit less carbon dioxide and are more environmentally friendly than co2 laser cutting systems.
Precautions for optical fiber laser cutting：
Several important considerations should be taken into account when using optical fiber laser cutting.The first is eye protection.Optical fiber laser systems emit light at wavelengths that are harmful to the eyes, so eye protection measures must be taken.Since the technology is less than five years old, comprehensive training on appropriate system operations and security is strongly recommended.Many operators do not have cutting experience with optical fiber laser cutting, so good initial training should be given to the operation of optical fiber cutting system to compensate for the lack of experience.
Another thing to look out for is the material to be cut.Although optical fiber laser cutting is good at cutting most materials, it cannot be used to cut acrylic or polycarbonate materials, and can only cut wood or fiber materials in limited applications.At the same time, the thickness of the material to be cut is an important factor in determining when to use optical fiber laser cutting.Thicker materials require more power cutting, and in these cases, laser cutting may not be a good option.The optical fiber laser can be installed next to the plasma cutting head.Before switching quickly and easily to plasma cutting, operators can use optical fiber lasers to cut thinner materials that require small tolerances.You can even use 2 different cutting methods to cut the same part.For example, an operator could choose to use plasma to cut the outside of a part, and then use a fiber laser to cut the inside shape.
Finally, it is best to take into account the components needed to assess the integrated laser cutting setting and how to purchase each component.Systems equipped with laser power, gas consoles, laser cutting heads, and height controllers, numerical control (CNC), and cutting control programs will realize the valuable benefits of an integrated solution.With integrated solutions, the process of purchasing and integrating optical fiber laser systems becomes less complex.Consider to select the cutting parameters that have been determined in advance, optimize the system dedicated to cutting, so as to start cutting immediately after the power is switched on.