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29 Aug, 2023, Company News

How Does a Fiber Laser Cutting Machine Work

How Does a Fiber Laser Cutting Machine Work

Laser technology has brought significant advancements in various industries, especially in manufacturing and fabrication. Among various types of lasers, fiber laser cutting machines have gained prominence for their precision and efficiency in cutting a wide range of materials, from metals to plastics and composites. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the principles and processes behind these remarkable machines.

The Basics of Laser Cutting

At its core, laser cutting involves using a focused laser beam to cut, engrave, or mark materials. The laser beam is generated by exciting a laser medium, and in the case of fiber lasers, this medium is an optical fiber doped with rare-earth elements, typically erbium, ytterbium, or thulium. Fiber lasers have gained popularity due to their high energy efficiency, beam quality, and reliability.

The laser beam is directed onto the material's surface, where it delivers a controlled amount of energy, causing the material to melt, burn, vaporize, or be blown away by a jet of gas. This process is highly precise and allows for intricate cuts and engravings.

Now, let's explore the specific workings of a fiber laser cutting machine:

1. Laser Generation

The process begins with the generation of the laser beam. Inside the fiber laser cutting machine, there's an optical fiber that serves as the laser medium. This optical fiber is excited by diode lasers, creating a population inversion of electrons in the rare-earth elements within the fiber.

As the electrons return to their lower energy states, they emit photons. These photons travel through the optical fiber, bouncing off the fiber's walls and gaining energy through stimulated emission. This process amplifies the photons, creating a concentrated and coherent laser beam.

2. Beam Delivery

Once the laser beam is generated, it needs to be precisely delivered to the cutting head, where it will interact with the material. Fiber laser cutting machines use mirrors and fiber optic cables to guide the laser beam from the source to the cutting head. This delivery system ensures that the laser remains focused and stable, even over long distances.

3. Focusing Optics

At the cutting head, the laser beam passes through a set of focusing optics. These optics typically include a collimating lens and a focusing lens. The collimating lens straightens the laser beam, making it parallel, while the focusing lens concentrates the beam into a small, intense spot.

The ability to focus the laser beam to a fine point is crucial for achieving precise cuts and detailed engravings.

4. Material Interaction

Once the focused laser beam contacts the material's surface, the real action begins. The intense energy of the laser beam heats the material rapidly, causing it to undergo one of several processes:

5. Assist Gas

To aid in the cutting process and remove molten or vaporized material from the cut zone, an assist gas is often used. Common assist gases include oxygen, nitrogen, and air, each with specific applications and effects on the cutting process. The assist gas can also influence the quality of the cut edge.

6. CNC Control

The entire process of laser cutting is precisely controlled by a computer numerical control (CNC) system. The CNC system follows a pre-programmed design or pattern, directing the movement of the laser cutting head and regulating the power and speed of the laser beam. This level of automation ensures consistent and accurate cuts, making it ideal for mass production and intricate designs.

Advantages of Fiber Laser Cutting

Fiber laser cutting machines offer several advantages over other cutting methods:

In conclusion, a fiber laser cutting machine works by generating a high-intensity laser beam, delivering it to the material through focusing optics, and using CNC control to guide the precise cutting or engraving process. This technology has revolutionized manufacturing and fabrication, offering unmatched precision, speed, and versatility. Whether you're in the automotive, aerospace, or any other industry requiring precise cutting, fiber laser cutting machines are at the forefront of modern manufacturing.


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