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How it Works: Fiber Laser Cutters

Sep. 20, 2023

A fiber laser metal cutter effortlessly cuts through iron as if it were nothing. Here we explain how a fiber laser works.

What is a laser?

The laser is a type of amplified light that is obtained by stimulated radiation.

Basic laser characteristics

· High intensity and brightness

· Small wavelength range

· Monochrome light

· Good coherence and long coherence length

· Nice parallel bunder with good directionality

How it Works: Fiber Laser Cutters 

High energy coherent laser light

How it Works: Fiber Laser Cutters 

Process of continuous metal melting

When the laser beam is irradiated on the surface of the workpiece, the light energy is absorbed and converted into heat energy, so that the temperature at the irradiation site is rapidly raised, melted and evaporated to form a small pit. The metal around the spots melts through thermal diffusion. The metal vapor in the small well expands rapidly, causing a micro-explosion. The molten material is ejected at high speed, creating a hole with a large top and a small bottom in the workpiece.

How it Works: Fiber Laser Cutters 

Fiber Laser Metal Cutter Definition

Fiber laser cutting is a hot cutting method that uses the focused high power density laser beam as the main heat source. The laser beam ensures that where the workpiece is hit by the beam, the material quickly melts and evaporates. At the same time, molten material is blown away with the help of a fast air flow. By doing this continuously, the workpiece is cut.

In recent years, laser sources and fiber optic technologies have been improved and become more affordable so that they can be used on an increasingly large scale. The scope of work is still expanding due to the large amount of research and development in this industry.

The world's first laser cutting machine originated in the 70's. In the past 40 years, with the continuous expansion of application and continuous improvement of laser cutting machine, many enterprises have been engaged in the production of various kinds of laser cutting machine to meet the market demand comply. There are now special machines for cutting 2D sheet material, 3D laser cutting machine and pipe laser cutting machines.

How it Works: Fiber Laser Cutters 

Laser cutting of metal plates

In the field of thin sheet cutting, the traditional CO2 laser and YAG laser is gradually adopted by fiber laser metal cutters, mainly for the following reasons:

· Low costs. The photoelectric conversion efficiency of a fiber laser is about 30%. The photoelectric conversion efficiency of CO2 laser is 6 ~ 10%, and the photoelectric conversion efficiency of YAG lasers is only 3%. In addition, the fiber laser source has no vulnerable parts and maintenance costs are typically low.

· Optical fiber lasers have a small volume, lightweight, movable and flexible head so that they can be easily deployed for a wide variety of applications.

· By using optical glass fibers for the light guide, the optical light beam length is always constant. As a result, the cut quality is always constant. With CO2 lasers, the light path is not constant, which means more frequent adjustments and the cut quality depends somewhat on the location on the workbed where cutting is done. With fiber laser, the cutting quality or the entire work bed is constant. This also makes it possible to realize large format laser machines without loss of quality when cutting.

· The light beam is transmitted through the optical fiber without external reflection mirrors in the optical light path. This saves costs, no fine adjustment of the optical light path is required, no light path contamination can occur and fewer moving parts are subject to wear.

· The wavelength of the optical fiber laser (1.06 m) is more easily absorbed by the metal material compared to the wavelength of CO2 (10.6 m). This is especially beneficial for cutting sheet material.

The cutting speed of it is 2 to 4 times higher than with CO2 lasers. At the same time, a fiber laser has a better cutting result for highly reflective material such as aluminum alloy, copper and various copper alloys.

How it Works: Fiber Laser Cutters

Fiber laser metal cutter process

How it Works: Fiber Laser Cutters 

1. Lens A. Empty height

2. Laser beam B. Puncture Height

3. Air flow C. Cutting height

4. Cutting line T. Sheet thickness

5. Molten material

6. Cutting plane

7. Nozzle / mouthpiece

8. Cutting direction


Influencing factors

· Machine

· Cutting speed

· Focus position

· Lens

· Nozzle

· Cut gas

· Laser quality

· Material

· Lightpad

A laser can capture all these moments in life and elevate your business into a priceless market.
Learn how you can make Vmade CNC work for your business in our free Business Growth Guide.

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