Carbon dioxide (CO2) laser cutting and fiber laser cutting are two rapidly growing methods of laser marking software. Both processes have better precision and versatility for various applications. Both technologies are continually evolving towards greater flexibility and more comfortable use within the industry, ultimately setting a standard. The question is, which technology is better, CO2, or a Fiber Laser? Although fiber laser is the latest technology, there are several factors to consider when deciding between both viable options.
Fiber Laser Cutting
This technology is considered a revolutionary change because it impacts the sheet metal fabrication. It is widely using because it has no moving parts or mirrors in the light generating source, like a CO2 laser. It is beneficial in terms of reducing maintenance requirement and costs. Fiber laser has higher electrical efficiency and considerably lower running costs. This laser has a top speed that when cutting then and reflective materials, there’s no fear of back reflections damaging the machine.
Fiber lasers are – as the name suggests – with only the head where the laser exits the fiber containing the lenses and maintains focus throughout its travel without outside interference. Fiber lasers are generally more giant, expensive, high-powered and best at continuous cutting via a roll, moving table or conveyor. One of the significant advantages of this laser is that its less expensive and has lower operational costs. Its operating cost is typically half that of a CO2 laser due to the less electrical consumption and high electrical efficiency.
CO2 Laser Cutting
CO2 laser cutting was introduced more than 50 years ago and still has vital importance in the field of laser technology. CO2 lasers are generally smaller, cheaper, low-powered and best at batch cutting. It is suitable for cutting plastics, wood, some fabrics, and foils, and for marking stone. It works by focusing an infrared laser beam through a series of mirrors and exiting through a nozzle. It’s best to produce better edges on thick-plate stainless and aluminum workpieces and for excellent features such as acute angles.
On the other hand, CO2 lasers use more power than fiber lasers and a high cost of operation. When operating on maximum power, CO2 laser consumes approximately 70kW. A same powered fiber laser consumes roughly 18kW.
Each laser has its respective applications where each works at its best. CO2 is a traditional technology while fiberglass laser is gaining market fast as the technology advances. There are many applications where each laser could be more effective than the other, depending on the project at hand. With Lit Laser, we make our judgment on a case by case basis and the end result is always the same; high-quality work through and through.