Cutting with a Fiber Laser
SPI Lasers’ range of quality manufactured Pulsed and CW Fiber Lasers can be used for cutting metals, graphite composites, ceramics, gemstones, plastics and other materials too. Cutting is a standard application of our fiber lasers and just one of many industrial manufacturing applications our fiber lasers are capable of producing.
Our global applications labs can also assist you to source the most efficient Fiber Laser solutions to meet your specific requirements. Contact us for details, we can even arrange for the trial of a laser, if this would be beneficial.
Laser Cutting Benefits
There are a wide range of benefits associated with laser cutting, which we list below:
- Range of sizes – applicable to a wide range of materials and thickness
- Narrow kerf widths – even the narrowest of widths can be programmed
- High speeds – a major benefit of lasers is the improved speed of laser cutting versus traditional processes
- High repeatability – the laser process is highly repeatable even in mass-production runs
- Reliable – due to the absolute precision levels, the cutting is 100% reliable
- Easily automated and programmable – this can easily be managed as a part of the process
- Reduced tooling costs and reduced set-up times – in many cases traditional tools and their costs can be totally eliminated
- Non-contact process – there is no need to be in contact with the material surface. This ensures there is reduced tooling wear or breakage, minimal material distortion and also improves employee safety
- Versatile – the same tool can be used for drilling, welding and numerous other processes
- Manipulation – capacity for a high degree of beam manipulation (true 3D cutting)
The above will give you a flavour of the benefits of cutting with Fiber Lasers, but there are other benefits too.
Thick Metal Cutting with a High Power 3kW CW Fiber Laser
The Laser Cutting Process
For Laser cutting, the beam must be focused by a lens to a small spot size, typically 25-100µm in diameter for fine cutting and 100um to 300µm diameter for thicker section cutting. Coaxial gas is delivered just above the Laser focus by a nozzle that surrounds the Laser beam. This helps to keep the optics clean and improves the process by pushing vaporised and liquified material out through the kerf.
Gases such as oxygen and air are used to promote the cutting of ferrous alloys and cellulose materials. Air is often used with plastics. High-pressure inert gas is used when cutting some metals to leave an unoxidised edge with little dross and material waste.
Cutting a variety of material thicknesses
The Fiber Laser’s beam quality allows very fine Laser cuts with kerf widths possible of less than 20µm in thin section metals of <200µm thickness (foils). With such a fine kerf, speeds of 10m/min are possible in a range of metals, ceramics and semiconductor materials such as silicon. With the possibility of modulating the beam at high frequency and fast response times, high speed Laser cutting of small features is possible with very high accuracy and repeatability.
Our range of redPOWER multi-kiloWatt Fiber Lasers make it possible to cut much thicker materials. For example, they can be used with different diameter processing fibers from 100µm to 300µm for cutting and welding sheet metal. It can cut thick low carbon steel (LCS), aluminium alloys, stainless steel (304SS) and reflective metals such as copper and brass (plus others too).
Solar cell cutting with a fiber laser
Laser cutting is just the start!
When you buy an SPI Fiber Laser you also buy versatility. Our fiber lasers are suitable for a wide-variety of additional uses, including ablation, additive manufacturing, cleaning, drilling, engraving, marking and welding.
Contacting SPI Lasers to discuss Fiber Laser cutting
We would love to hear from you to discuss any aspect of our Fiber Lasers including their cutting capability. Once you use a Fiber Laser for cutting, you will never go back to former techniques. So, why not call us on +44 (0)1489 779 696 or message us through our contact form? (we will contact you shortly afterwards). If you would like to, you can also sign-up to receive regular SPI Lasers updates.
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