CO2 or Fiber laser cutting – what is cheaper?
This question arises every time a new technology appears on the market that could revolutionize an entire industry: what is cheaper – this new or older technology? It is fully understandable – the manufacturers promise maximum savings with the highest quality, so the only thing left for the user is to seek the opinion of experienced people. This is what we provide in this guide. We will verify whether CO2 or Fiber laser cutting is more profitable, and we will explain where the conclusion comes from.
Principle of operation
Before we move on to financial issues, it is necessary to clarify such basic issues as the principle of cutting with a Fiber laser and with CO2. Well, in the first variant, diodes and optical fibers play the most important role. The reflected light goes to the collimator, where it is transformed into a laser with which metal is processed. Using carbon dioxide (CO2), cutting is performed with the help of not only gas, but also an electric voltage pulse that activates the vibrations of atoms. It is also necessary to have a number of additional parts, such as a vacuum pump, radiator or turbine.
Cutting cost differences
When trying to assess which technology is cheaper, it is necessary to verify, first of all, the level of electricity consumption. CO2 cutting is definitely the loser in this category, because a series of actions performed in individual parts of the machine (in the mentioned turbine, cooler, etc.) means that kW is required each time. In the case of Fiber, the process is shortened and simplified at the same time, so as a result up to 4 times less consumption can be noticed. So what is cheaper? Strong Fiber laser cutting.
Unfortunately, the technology using carbon dioxide is not only more expensive, but also less effective – with the exception of situations when processing of non-metallic materials is required. In other cases, the Fiber optic technology is a more advantageous solution, which also works more efficiently and accurately. This is possible due to the increased focus of the laser beam and its shorter beam.