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Types of Lasers For Sheet Metal Cutting

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Types of Lasers For Sheet Metal Cutting

   There are three different forms of lasers for cutting materials in industrial manufacturing. Each laser cutter has unique features that distinguish them from another. With that said, below is a comprehensive summary of the three types of laser cutters.

Fiber Lasers

    Fiber laser cutting machines are some of the most potent precision cutting devices. They belong to the solid-state lasers using seed lasers to amplify the beam with special glass fibers. They are effective for cutting pieces of metals, alloys, and non-metals like glass, plastics, and even wood. Other than simple cutting operations, they are suitable for metal engraving and annealing.

fiber lasers machine

    Fiber laser kerfs are more extensive than others; this may account for their high power. They possess a long service life of not less than 25,000 hours and thus require less maintenance. They produce some of the strongest and most stable beams. However, they are best suited for materials with less than 20 mm thickness.


CO2  Lasers

    CO2 lasers produce the beam of light by running electricity through a tube filled with a mixture of gases. The gas mixture contains mainly carbon dioxide and inert gases – helium and nitrogen, the commonest forms for lasers.

    CO2 laser cutting of wood products

    However, they are less potent compared to fiber lasers. CO2 laser machines can only cut non-metals like wood, acrylic, and plastics. In some cases, they may also function for sheet metal laser cutting, especially thin sheets of aluminum and some other non-ferrous metals.


Crystal Lasers

    Crystal laser cutters exist in two forms: Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet) and Me:YVO (neodymium-doped yttrium ortho-vanadate, YVO4) crystals. Both are incredibly high-power cutting devices. However, they are pretty expensive yet have about half the life expectancy of fiber lasers – 8,000 to 15,000 hours. They are suitable for cutting coated and uncoated metals, non-metals and plastics, and even ceramics under specific circumstances.


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