Fiber Laser uses an amplified and intense light source sent to the cutting heat through a fiber optic and is further refocused and emitted through focal lenses to a specified dot-shaped area on the material’s surface. The extreme heat vaporizes and melts the material into the desired shape.
On the other hand, the CO2 laser is the method of laser generation and differs from the fiber optic method. By now, you must have realized we are contemplating “CO2 Lasers vs. Fiber Lasers: Which is Right for you?”
This common topic has been doing the rounds in manufacturing industries for years. Both the Fiber laser and the CO2 are path-breaking technologies and also have their pros and cons. There is a definite difference in the performance of different materials, capabilities, and technology.
The applications and the needs of the manufacturers help make a choice between the Fiber lasers and the CO2 lasers. Let us understand better:
CO2 Lasers are a better option for organic and non-metallic materials and certain kinds of glass, ceramics, and plastic. The CO2 lasers work well on thin metals though they are less efficient than fiber lasers. Fiber Laser cutting machines are great for metal processing, cutting, and marking metals though it also used for non-metallic materials.
The CO2 laser beams radiate light in 10.6 micrometers in the far-infrared spectrum. They are thus the ideal choice for marking non-metals, engraving, and cutting materials such as acrylic, plastic, wood, and certain glass and ceramics.
Fiber Lasers radiate light normally 1.06 micrometers in the near-infrared spectrum. They are suitable for processing metals, including engraving, cutting, and marking metals such as brass, stainless steel, copper, aluminum etc.
CO2 lasers consume more power and energy than fiber lasers. Fiber lasers, on the other hand, consume less electricity and power and are energy efficient.
CO2 laser cutting machines have higher downtime and need more maintenance as their complex gas discharge system results in more wear and tear. Fiber lasers are sturdier and require lesser maintenance. They last longer than CO2 laser-cutting machines.
Even the cutting speed of the CO2 laser cutters and the fiber laser cutters differ. Fiber lasers are good for industrial applications because of their fast cutting speeds for metals, where CO2 lasers have a cutting speed compatible with non-metallic materials.
CO2 Lasers offer high-precision engraving and cutting on non-metallic substances. On the other hand, Fiber lasers are excellent, and the high level of cutting and engraving precision is amazing, so intricate patterns and fine details are an easy job for the fiber lasers.
Finally, the initial cost of fiber laser is higher than the CO2 lasers, but it doesn’t fall that expensive because the maintenance costs are much lower.