CO2 VS Fiber - Which technology is right for your application?

CO2 VS Fiber - Which technology is right for your application?

April 16, 2018 11:53:21 AM

There are several factors to consider when deciding between a fiber or CO2 laser. However, it ultimately comes down to the type and thickness of the material you are cutting. A fiber laser can cut many of the same materials as a CO2, plus copper, brass and aluminum much better and safer than CO2 because the beam is more readily absorbed and not reflected.

On the other hand, CO2 lasers can produce better edge quality on thick-plate stainless and aluminum workpieces that fiber lasers can’t. And unlike fiber lasers, these machines offer the ultimate in flexibility for users across a wide range of complex laser applications including non-metals. Fiber lasers still tend to be geared toward the thinner metal market, but with power increasing, the application area is growing.

Cost is also a big factor. Fiber laser operating costs are typically half of that of a CO2 system due to the lower electrical consumption and high electrical efficiency of fiber lasers. The energy savings come from both the resonator and the chiller unit. The 4kW fiber laser and chiller, when running at maximum power, will consume approximately 18kW. A CO2 laser and chiller running at the same power will consume approximately 70kW. This results in significant cost savings.

The adoption of fiber lasers has been slow in many shops. CO2 lasers are a tried-and- true technology and manufacturers are hesitant to invest so much in something entirely new. If the application fits though, a fiber laser can be a great option.

Deciding which machine is right for your shop is a matter of reviewing your applications and materials used. While one shop might benefit from the speed of a fiber laser, another might need the cutting quality of a CO2.

MC Machinery recognizes the importance of each technology and continues to develop both fiber and CO2 technologies that work on a variety of applications. So when the time comes for your shop to add a machine, MC Machinery will be able to find the right solution to get the most bang for your buck.

Leave a Comment

Fields with * are required.