There are a variety of articles that you can find on the web that discusses the comparisons of the co2 laser cutter performance to the fiber content laser. It has been covered by lots of well-respected industry publications. There is no longer a discussion about if fiber can compete with CO2 for metal processing – particularly thin sheet metal. Some of the OEMs have already reached the tipping point and are selling more fiber lasers than CO2.
Sales pitch aside
Setting aside the sales pitch that fiber is better in providing light than a CO2 laser, let us break into the optical components. The fiber laser has a series of focal optic depths. Some in the resonator which create the power plus some in the beam delivery system which changes the phase of the beam before the beam hits the ultimate optic, the laser reduction lens.
Fiber Laser Machines Can Be Solid State with Diodes or Disk
The dietary fiber laser beam delivery can be stable status with diodes or disk or using the newer style large function area (LMA) or even continuous-wave single-transverse-mode power. The truth is that all the optics are positioned in the cutting mod only. No mirrors, result couplers or H2O cooled copper lines.
However, and it is a big “but”…the little-discussed issue is the fact that if the CO2 laser must maintain a clean environment to perform better, the fiber laser must be maintained clean on a whole new degree of spotlessness.
CO2 laser a little dirty. A fiber lens will not
The co2 laser cutter will work if it is a little dirty A fiber focal lense will not. A particulate, which is smaller when compared to a virus microbe, will end the life span of the fibers lens. Associated with, is that you are by using a different light influx size. CO2 is in the IR (infrared) range. Fiber content is in the noticeable light range.
To be able to assist in keeping the laser cutter machine in the fiber machine clean, you must use a protecting window. The very best protective windows are made of fused silica and have an AR (anti-reflective) covering on them. This enables the beam to pass through from the zoom lens to the part you are chopping, but it stops debris or dirt and grime contaminants from getting back on to the lens.
OEMS of Fiber Lasers Kept Increasing Power
As the OEMs of dietary fiber lasers stored increasing ability, another major difference became evident. When you’d a fiber content laser at 1K or 1.5K, the end user could easily change a zoom lens. However, once you started out upping the energy, to 3K and 4K the tires fell off of the wagon so to speak. Suddenly the end users were going through scores of lenses.
To make the kind of changes that you need to cut different kinds of material, the beam would have to be extended. So collimating optics were added into the cutting brain of the fiber laser. Again the issue only became exacerbated by this addition. More optics that require protection!
All this boils down to two major factors, quality and cleanliness.
There is no replacement for quality. Layer quality is as different as the firms that make them. Making a good coating is part technology and part enchanting. It requires lots of experience to get it right. Testing and continually enhancing the process has made Ophir an innovator in the covering industry for optics in lasers and infrared optics for evening eye-sight and a million other optical tasks worldwide. The laser lens for the fiber laser machines is absolutely important component.