Types of laser metal cutting
Laser cutting is the most common and high-tech method of cutting sheet metal, which is used in industry. Focused laser emission that forms in a laser source (resonator) hits the sheet metal and melts it. With the help of modern technology, the laser beam can be focused to a point with a very small diameter and high power, which makes it possible to produce the most complex contours with very high accuracy without mechanical contact.
The most common types of lasers in the industry:
— fiber laser
A laser beam in a fiber laser is formed in the active fiber and then transmitted through the fiber with conductive properties to the cutting head of the installation, where it is focused to a point using a lens.
— CO₂ gas laser
In a CO₂ gas laser, a mixture of gases is used to form a laser beam. High voltage, which is generated in the resonator with the help of mirrors, is transmitted to the cutting head of the installation, where it is also focused with a lens to a point.
We believe that the future of sheet metal laser cutting technology lies with fiber optic laser.
Advantages of fiber laser:
- minimal power consumption with a very high efficiency factor;
- no high-purity gas is required as the active medium of the laser;
- no mirror path of emission transmission;
- a simple cooling system with a very high efficiency factor;
- the source of the fiber laser is much smaller in size than the CO₂ laser resonator, and at the same current consumption it has almost twice the power and higher efficiency;
- fiber optic laser is able to process non-ferrous metals such as copper and brass;
- it is much cheaper in maintenance and service.
The first development of fiber lasers was back in 1961. But in recent years there has been a huge breakthrough in the technology of development of sources for solid-state fiber lasers and optical fiber, which is now able to transmit huge energy over a fairly long distance. IPG Photonics, which currently controls more than 60% of the world market of high-power fiber lasers, has made a great contribution to the development of fiber lasers. Such world leaders in the machine tool industry as companies: Bystronic, Prima Power, Ermaksan, etc., as well as our Ukrainian company ARAMIS, also use IPG sources in their lasers.
Not so long ago, it was believed that fiber lasers are only suitable for processing thin sheet metal up to 3 mm, but in our time, high-power fiber sources are already available, which already at a power of 6kW allow cutting stainless metal up to 30 mm thick. The market dictates its conditions, and many machine tool companies have already started production and development of their sources for solid-state lasers. For example: Trumpf company produces solid-state lasers with a source of its own production of the TRUDISK series, the power of which already reaches 10kW and able to process stainless steel sheet up to 40 mm thick. The Polish company Eagle presented its 15kW laser at the EuroBlech 2018 Exhibition in Hannover, Germany. Thanks to many Chinese manufacturers, fiber sources and, accordingly, lasers have become much more affordable.
Technology does not stand still, because we, the company TiSO, try to keep up with the times. Today on our site we use three fiber lasers, which allow us to produce our products with high accuracy and in the shortest possible time.
You can leave a request for laser cutting of metal or ask any question on metal working by contacting our managers.