3 Advantages of Fiber Laser Cutting for Industrial Parts
In today's world, industry growth relies heavily on the latest technologies like robotic automation, autonomous vehicles, and 5G to innovate and stay ahead of competitors. Fiber laser technology uses fiber optic cables to transmit high-powered laser beams at extremely precise wavelengths and power levels. For this reason, fiber laser cutting is an attractive option for engineers and buyers for their part designs.
Fiber laser cutting has been deployed in various industries for metal parts production. One example would be fiber laser cutting services to produce aluminum aerospace components which often have a high degree of complexity and require lower tolerances. Fiber lasers, being extremely precise tools with unparalleled power capability, have become the industry standard for companies that require parts made with nickel alloys, aluminum alloys, steels, and copper.
Fiber lasers are the newest and most powerful laser machines on the market for fabricating sheet metal parts with the highest precision. Widely used in industrial environments to perform cutting and marking, we've added fiber lasers services to meet our expanding customer needs and the growth in new technologies.
The metal cutting laser adds to our efficient solutions for a wide range of sheet metal parts and thicknesses.
There are many reasons why fiber laser cutting might be the best option depending on your specific needs. This article will discuss three of them and how they can help you save money and improve quality and lead times.
What is Fiber Laser Cutting?
Fiber laser cutting is a process that uses optical fiber to deliver the beam of light energy from the laser to the metal for cutting. Fiber lasers are much more powerful than traditional CO₂ lasers and can provide a superior quality edge on various materials, including aluminum, brass, copper, and stainless steel. The use of fiber optics also allows for a much smaller and focused laser head, making it ideal for precision cutting applications.
One of the most significant advantages of fiber laser cutting compared to other metal cutting lasers is it reduces the mechanical stress on sheet metal from the hard tooling contact, heat, and force of different methods. Here are a few more:
Fiber laser cutting is quickly becoming the method of choice for many industrial applications. Electrical discharge machining has long been chosen for its precision cutting with minimal heat damage. However, it is not known for being very fast or for high output times, whereas fiber laser cutting rivals it in precision cutting up to 10x faster.
The downtime of high-maintenance metal cutting lasers had been a significant drawback but is virtually non-existent with fiber-optic lasers. Fiber cutting lasers have no consumable gases, no optics to align, and no moving parts. They are more accessible and cheaper to maintain without requiring time-consuming preventative maintenance. Their higher power stability also ensures that your parts get cut and sent out to you faster than you could expect with other metal-cutting lasers.
CO₂ metal cutting lasers are another traditional method that cuts metals well, as these lasers have been the go-to for creating smooth cuts on thicker materials. But with recent technologies, fiber lasers also provide high-quality cuts on greater thicknesses. Alternately, fiber lasers cut thinner metals faster than CO₂ lasers.
Fiber Lasers Can Cut Reflective Materials
Fiber laser cutting is superior for cutting reflective metals. Reflective metals such as brass, aluminum, and copper have been a challenge against traditional metal cutting lasers because they bounce back light and diminish the laser's efficacy. The laser beam reflection can damage the laser equipment itself. Fiber optic lasers remove this hurdle, allowing more metal availability for electronic components.
Fiber Laser Cutting Saves Money in the Long Run
Plasma metal cutting lasers are typically chosen when the buyer is looking for the cheapest method, and when the lowest tolerances are not required. However, many wasted cuts happen due to plasma lasers' low precision and quality. Fiber cutting lasers, on the other hand, diminish waste by being much more precise. Fiber cutting lasers are also an excellent option for thick material, providing higher throughput, speeds, and consistency so that clients can get perfect parts back fast. All of this outweighs the expense of fiber laser cutting and the potential cost savings in the long run.
Fiber Laser Cutting Capabilities
The capabilities of fiber laser cutting make it highly attractive in several industrial applications:
- Tolerances - +/- 5% of the metal
- Metal Thickness - .010’’ - .250”
- Material - Aluminum, Steels, Copper Alloys
- Sheet size - Up to 48" X 48"
Advanced Metal Etching™ has added fiber laser cutting services to offer more solutions to our clients.
But how do you know if your parts benefit more from fiber lasers vs. chemical etching for thin metal parts? Many factors are in play depending on the thickness, part features, and the number of parts.
In many ways, chemical etching and fiber laser cutting are equal in speed, precision, and quality (because of low tolerances). Fiber laser cutting can be cost-effective and produce the best results when your parts have a metal thickness between .010" - .250" or the part size exceeds 11.5" X 23.5". It is also well suited for parts that feature inside radii corners requiring 90º angles or holes smaller than the metal thickness and for quick prototyping of simple components with thicker metals.
AME Laser Cutting Services
Advanced Metal Etching™ has always strived to offer high speed, power, precision, and throughput for today's metal applications. Our laser cutting services were born in response to our desire to meet the evolving requirements of the automotive, electronics, aerospace, telecommunications, and medical manufacturing industries. We are a customer-oriented company that always listens to clients' needs to best offer efficient and effective solutions.
We always look forward to helping new and existing clients discover the best solutions for their applications and purposes! If you have any questions about whether laser cutting suits you, you can always upload a part file, and we will let you know.