Fiber Laser Metal Cutting - Things to Know
We all know that metal is a solid material, and cutting it with our strength is usually tricky. Later on, logging tools such as circular saws and chainsaws emerged and were tried and found to be able to cut thin metal. However, this method had many drawbacks, such as when the metal was very thick, it was impossible to cut and could damage the blade.
The introduction of the fiber laser cutting machine later solved this problem. It produces a laser beam with a 9,000-11,000 nm wavelength, which instantly cuts through sheet metal. The cutting parameters are different for different metal materials.
As different metals' physical and chemical properties vary considerably, you need to select a suitable machine and cut parameters for the metal.
This article provides information on the metals that can be cut by a fiber laser cutting machine and the considerations that should take into account.
- Can a fiber laser cut metal?
- The 7 most important metals for fiber laser cutting
- Fiber laser cutting machine recommendations
- Things to consider when laser engraving metal
- Laser engraving projects for sale
- Final thoughts
Can a fiber laser cut metal?
Yes, a fiber laser cutter with more incredible power than 1000w can easily cut metal. The wavelength of the fiber laser penetrates the metal more quickly, and the laser beam concentrates on a smaller spot size, making it easier to achieve metal cutting. If you need to mass produce metal cut parts, choose a fiber optic cutter of at least 1500w or more.
Top 7 metals for fiber laser cutting
You may need clarification on the types of metals that a fiber laser can cut, and you may be surprised to learn that you can cut on many more metal types. Let's explore the types of metals suitable for fiber laser cutting.
Aluminium is a very widely used metal material; different cutting intensities can be chosen depending on the type of aluminum. You can select a low-beam laser or even a CO2 laser cutter if you cut aluminum oxide. Choose a darker, higher-intensity laser beam when cutting aluminum or cast aluminum.
We commonly use stainless steel for window frames, mugs, car casings, building parts, and more. There are many different types of stainless steel, distinguished mainly by the carbon content of stainless steel. You can use almost all fiber laser cutting machines to cut stainless steel.
Silver is a soft metal, so you should choose low power when cutting with the fiber laser. Otherwise, the high temperature will melt silver. During the cutting process, the surface of the silver will oxidise rapidly, creating a layer of aluminum oxide.
This is one of the most used and collected precious metals. Like silver, it is very soft, so you need to be careful when cutting it. Gold is chemically stable during the cutting process, so you do not need to worry about oxidising compared to silver. You can also mark the surface after an engraving by annealing, which helps to reduce the amount of gold wasted.
This is an expensive new metal. In recent years titanium has been chosen for many specialised devices, such as aerospace and medical equipment. It is a lightweight, durable metal material. In the medical industry, titanium is generally chosen to be etched or engraved. Aerospace must be fatigue tested, generally annealed after cutting or engraving.
This metal may not be familiar to us. It is challenging and highly resistant to corrosion. You can use a high-strength fiber laser cutting machine to engrave tungsten. Many aircraft engine valves, turbine impellers, and other high-strength, wear-resistant parts are made from tungsten. You can anneal the engraving to create a more contrasting pattern.
Iron is an essential building material closely associated with our lives. It is used in many industries, from cars to house gates and transport, and we can recycle it, so we can not live without it. With the use of a fiber laser cutting machine, it is straightforward to cut iron.
Cutting capacity of the fiber laser cutting machine
The next step is to show you the laser cutting machine's cutting capacity according to the machine's power.
- Fully enclosed design for safer operation
- 12000w IPG fiber laser source for long life
- Capable of cutting stainless steel, aluminum and other metals up to 40mm thick
- Stable cutting performance
- Heavy duty table, no deformation for 20 years
- Extra large bed to meet industrial production requirements
- Supports 12m full-page cutting
- Intelligent smoke extraction system for a safer cutting process
- Supports auto-focus
- The automatic lifting platform enables automatic loading to save the workforce
- Auto-focus for intelligent focusing and piercing of different plates
- Suitable for hardware and automotive parts production
- Cutting speed of 120m/min to meet the production needs of large companies
Things to consider when laser engraving metal
Metals other than gold and silver are complex and require higher laser power to engrave them. Most metals will reflect the laser beam, except for a few metals, such as aluminum oxide. A good fiber laser cutting machine needs to be able to deliver sufficient laser power.
Choose the best laser by learning the basics of fiber laser cutting.
Depending on the laser source and wavelength, we classify lasers as CO2, fiber, and diode lasers. Fibre lasers with wavelengths 9000-11000nm are the most suitable for cutting metal. Of course, wavelengths in the 450-950nm range are also ideal for cutting metal, but this low power is suitable for home DIY use and not for industrial production. Next, we will consider what to consider when cutting metal with a fiber laser.
I cannot provide you with the best cutting parameters because there are differences between fiber optic machines regarding power, speed, design software, etc. If you purchase a 1500w fiber laser cutter, you can follow the recommended 1500w fiber laser cutting parameters in the manual in the manual. You can follow the recommended parameters in the manual.
Still, even the performance of the same machine is different, so the values recommended in the user manual may not be the best for your machine. You can ask your machine manufacturer for a table of optimum laser cutting parameters after you have purchased the machine.
You can test your machine on the same material before cutting the metal until you have chosen the best parameters.
Choosing a cutting machine with a laser power of 1500w or more for industrial production is best. The higher the power, the faster the cutting speed and the greater the cutting depth.
The laser's engraving speed affects the cut depth and is as important as laser power. There is a balance between laser power and speed to have a perfect engraving effect.
The laser spot size affects the engraving accuracy. The smaller the size, the higher the engraving accuracy.
Gas assist blows away debris in time for cutting and makes for a better cut. However, it is also essential to choose a suitable gas pressure.
Metal surface finish
Before setting the parameters for engraving/cutting, you need to ensure that the metal surface is free from many stains. If there is a lot of oil or rust, use sandpaper or alcohol to remove the stains from the surface. Although these stains will not affect your cutting significantly, keeping the cutting surface smooth before engraving is essential for better results.
Choose a low solution for cutting when cutting metal parts that do not require a high level of detail. If you only use it for cutting metal, choose a low resolution to get a satisfactory result. Usually, the higher the resolution, the better the engraving detail will be.
Metal Laser Engraving Projects
You can choose to use a fiber laser to cut sheet metal to create a variety of crafts for sale. This cutting effect is challenging to achieve with hand cutting. You can stand out from the crowd of crafts with perfectly cut results, making your cutting projects more competitive. Likewise, you can use it to cut all kinds of beautiful parts, such as iron sheets for car interiors.
Fiber laser cutting metal is a fast way to cut, perfect for achieving precision cutting metal. You can complete the ideal cut in metal with a laser. The process is straightforward - you place the sheet metal on the table and then design the operation by computer. There are now also intelligent cutting machines with automatic loading and unloading, which means the machine can load and unload automatically, saving labor and time.
The process has some challenges if you use a machine to cut metal for the first time. You can overcome these challenges by consulting the seller.