The benefits of laser cutting versus CO2

Date: 30/03/2017

YORKSHIRE Laser Fabrication does what it says in the title of our name. We’re a specialist laser cutting company providing high quality parts, products and components to our increasing list of customers across specialist industries.

One reason for our continued success is the investment we put into evolving technologies that improve product quality and service to our customers. A major part of our work is laser cutting. Recognised across critical industries for manufacturing high quality parts it has been a key part of our work for the last 20 years.

Customers often ask what are the main differences between fibre laser cutting and CO2 cutting:

Fibre laser cutting

Without getting too technical fibre laser light is created by banks of diodes. The light is channeled and amplified through fibre optic cable. The amplified light, on exiting the fibre cable, is straightened and then focused by a lens onto the material to be cut.

Creation of the light is 200 per cent more efficient than via a traditional CO2 laser, and delivery is far simpler, with no expensive optical mirrors. The focusing lens, unlike on a conventional CO2 laser machine, is sealed in the cutting head and thus not a consumable item.

The benefits of fibre laser cutting are:
1.) No moving parts or mirrors in the light-generating source. The advantage to this is a reduction in maintenance and operating costs.
2.) Fibre laser cutting offers higher electrical efficiency leading to lower running costs.
3.) Fibre laser cutting offers higher speeds when cutting fine materials, for example the fibre laser is three times quicker in a straight line cutting of 1 mm mild, galvanized, or stainless steel and twice as fast when cutting 2 mm.
4.) Fibre laser cutting can cut reflective materials without fear of back reflections damaging the machine. This allows copper, brass, and aluminium to be cut without problems.
5.) Possibly the main benefit to fibre laser cutting is longer servicing intervals and 50 per cent lower servicing costs.

CO2 laser

The main advantage of CO2 compared to fibre laser cutting are speed when processing thicker materials, typically above 5 mm, where the CO2 machine is faster in a straight line and also has much faster piercing times at the start of the cut.
There is also the advantage of a smoother surface finish with the CO2 machine when cutting thicker materials.
If you would like to discuss how Yorkshire Laser can help yo with your components call 01977 553120 or email: