Over the years, laser cutting has become the preferred method in the metal fabrication industry due to its undoubted speed and accuracy. Yet as technology moves on so quickly, further developments are to be expected, and the cutting edge of metal cutting today involves a fibre laser cutting machine instead. If you've never heard of this, what is it, and could it be advantageous to you?
Fibre Laser Cutting Machines in Action
The latest fibre laser cutting machines use active optical fibres. These create a method of presentation using fibres rather than gas or crystal and can be used to process metals of various thicknesses.
In this case, the optical fibre intensifies the laser beam, elevating it to a higher power state. This means the fibre laser cutters can deal with a wider range of materials and handle much more challenging jobs than may have been possible before.
Once the laser diode emits the initial light source, it is sent through a fibre-optic cable causing it to be amplified. This presents a much more powerful laser which is easily converted into heat once it hits the material surface. The process is accompanied by a high-speed airflow fan that can evacuate any molten material, so the workpiece in question can be adequately processed. This solution also has additional benefits, which means materials can be more easily loaded and unloaded. This will quicken the laser-cutting process while maintaining a good degree of precision and accuracy.
Fibre Laser Versus CO2
People often compare fibre laser cutters with traditional CO2-based laser cutters. Here, the primary difference is in the process, as each can operate at its own wavelength and would typically be suitable for a different material. CO2 lasers use carbon dioxide in order to produce the laser, while fibre solutions use completely different elements, brought together into a fibre and then guided onto the cutting head through a transportation process.
A fibre laser machine should be advantageous if your job involves cutting copper, brass, stainless steel, aluminium or even titanium. Other solutions might do the job but might take longer, and that could add to the costs. Still, fibre laser cutting machines are more expensive than the alternative, so it's important to bear this in mind at the outset.
What's Best for You?
Talk with your contractor if you're interested in a fibre laser cutting option. Tell them what you want to achieve, and they will let you know whether this latest solution is the best approach or whether you can still take advantage of CO2 laser cutters and other alternatives.
Talk to a supplier to learn more about metal laser cutting.