When choosing between these two technologies there are several factors that need to be considered. Ultimately your choice between these two is going to come down to the type and the thickness of the material you intend to cut. Fiber technology can cut many materials that CO2 can cut including copper, brass, and aluminum safer and better than CO2 technology. This is because the beam in fiber technology is more readily absorbed and not reflected. On the other hand, CO2 technology can produce better edge quality on aluminum workpieces and thick plate stainless that fiber technology may be unable to achieve. In this article, we are going look at the advantages and drawbacks of each technology with a view to help you to choose the right one for you.
Advantages of Fiber Technology
No Moving Parts
There are no mirrors or moving parts in fiber lasers, this means that once this is set up you can get working from the get-go. Also, none of the parts of a fiber laser come out of alignment. This helps to reduce costly production downtime.
Lower Cost of Maintenance
With ‘fit and forget’ technology that is synonymous with fiber technology, there is no need to worry about servicing or maintenance cycle.
When it comes to electricity, fiber lasers are a lot more efficient. This means a lower running cost and a more Eco-friendly machine. For instance, a 3kw fiber laser uses only 1/3 of the power consumed by a 4kw CO2 laser.
Good With Thin Materials
Although fiber technology is good at cutting materials of all thickness, they are better at cutting thin materials. Also, this technology is 3x faster at cutting a stainless steel with a thickness of 1mm and 2x faster if the same material is 2mm thick.
One of the major advantages fiber technology has over CO2 lasers is that they can cut reflective materials without having to worry about the back reflections that is capable of damaging the machine.
The main advantage fiber technology has when compared to CO2 technology is the cutting speed of thicker materials. Fiber lasers can’t cut materials above 5mm thickness.
Advantages of CO2 Technology
Works Well With Thicker Materials
Although fiber lasers can also cut thick materials, CO2 lasers tend to do this job better. They will usually leave a surface finish that is smoother than you get with fiber lasers.
Faster in a Straight Line
They have a quicker piercing time when you start to cut with this technology and they are also faster at cutting in a straight line.
Disadvantages of CO2 Technology
The main disadvantages of this technology are where the advantages of fiber technology lie. CO2 lasers are quite sensitive and may require alignment. Once they get knocked out of place, it would require an expert to come in to fix it. This can lead to long periods of downtime when the laser is not put to productive use. This also means a higher cost of maintenance as regular servicing may be required. More details.
Deciding which of this technology is right for you is a matter of reviewing the materials used and applications. While one business might gain from the speed of a fiber laser, another might need the cutting quality of CO2 technology.