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Co2 VS Fiber Laser Cutting : How to Choose

There are many types of industrial laser cutting machines on the market, which are divided into fiber laser cutters and CO2 laser cutters according to the types of fiber lasers. The CO2 laser cutting machine first appeared, and later with the development of science and technology, the fiber laser cutting appeared.

Two of the most prominent types of laser cutting technologies are CO2 and fiber lasers. Both have their unique strengths and applications, making the choice between the two a critical decision for manufacturers.

There are many difference between fiber laser and co2 laser cutting, this article will tell you.

laser cutter
laser cutter

Co2 laser vs fiber laser

CO2 laser is a gas beam obtained by exciting carbon dioxide molecules, and its wavelength is 10.6 μm;

fiber laser has a wavelength of 1.08 μm.

The physical characteristic of different wavelengths has a great influence on the processing characteristics of the two.

fiber optics laser
fiber optics laser

Fiber laser vs co2 cutting

CO2 laser cutting machine cuts non-metallic materials, and it is best to use optical fiber or YAG equipment for cutting metal materials.

The laser cutting machine is mainly used to cut metal materials. During the cutting process, the beam is focused into a small focus through the lens, and the focus reaches high power density. The cutting head is fixed on the z-axis. The high energy generated rapidly heats up to the melting and vaporization temperature to achieve the cutting effect.

Advantages of c02 vs fiber laser

The main advantage of CO2 lasers is their versatility. They can handle a wide range of materials and thicknesses, making them a popular choice for industries that require diverse cutting needs. Additionally, CO2 lasers excel in engraving applications, delivering high-quality, detailed results.

Fiber lasers offer several advantages. More energy efficient, requiring less power to achieve the same cutting speed. Smaller focal diameter, resulting in a smaller heat-affected zone, which results in higher precision and less material distortion.

laser tube cutter
laser tube cutter

Limitations: difference between fiber vs co2 laser cutting

CO2 lasers are generally less efficient than fiber lasers and require more power to operate. They also have difficulty cutting highly reflective metals such as aluminum and copper, which can reflect the laser beam and cause damage to the machine.

Fiber lasers are not as versatile as CO2 lasers. Non-metallic materials such as wood and plastic are difficult to cut, and they do not engrave as efficiently as CO2 lasers.

what is a cnc laser cutter
what is a cnc laser cutter

Making the Right Choice: CO2 vs Fiber Laser Cutting

The decision between CO2 and fiber laser cutting ultimately depends on your specific needs. If you’re working primarily with metals and require high precision and efficiency, a fiber laser may be the best choice. However, if you need to cut a wide range of materials and require high-quality engraving, a CO2 laser might be more suitable.

It’s also important to consider the long-term operating costs. While fiber lasers may have a higher upfront cost, their energy efficiency and lower maintenance requirements can lead to cost savings over time.

Fiber laser vs co2 laser cost

The cost of fiber laser on the market is much higher than that of co2 laser, because the energy generated by fiber laser is relatively high and the process is more complicated.

Can a CO2 laser cut metal?

Yes, but only stainless steel and aluminum plates below 3mm can be cut

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