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Fiber Laser Cutting Machine VS Plasma Cutting Machine

June 20, 2024
Fiber laser cutting machine VS Plasma cutting machine

With the development of technology, there are more and more ways to cut metal, such as fiber laser cutting, and plasma cutting, what is the difference between them? How to choose a suitable cutting machine for yourself? The following content will be introduced in detail.

Fiber laser cutting machine uses a focused high power density laser beam to irradiate the workpiece so that the irradiated material rapidly melts, vaporizes, ablates, or reaches the ignition point, while blowing away the molten material with the help of a high speed airflow coaxial to the beam, thereby cutting the workpiece apart. Plasma cutting machine is a processing method that uses the heat of a high-temperature plasma arc to partially melt (and evaporate) the metal at the workpiece kerf and uses the momentum of the high-speed plasma to remove the molten metal to form the kerf.

Fiber Laser Cutting Machine
CNC Plasma Cutting Machine

Cutting effects of fiber laser cutting machine and plasma cutting machine:

Plasma cutting machine surface roughness, heat-affected zone is relatively large, and the slit is relatively wide, cutting thick plates has advantages, not suitable for cutting thin plates because the plate will be deformed because of heat. Plasma cutting is the process of cutting a thick plate, you can achieve a very high cutting speed.

The fiber laser cutting surface is smooth, compared to plasma cutting, fiber laser cutting is much more precise, the heat-affected zone is much smaller, and the slit is also much smaller.

For the material thickness, when there are many kinds of materials, fiber laser cutting machines are most effective at cutting thin metals. Fiber laser cutting can effectively cut thin metals up to 25 mm. After that point, fiber lasers begin to cut metal less efficiently. If you want to cut metals more than 25 mm thick, it needs bigger power which will cost a lot.

A plasma cutting machine can effectively cut any type of metal up to 80 mm thick. Interestingly, when cutting thicker materials, a plasma cutting machine can start cutting faster than a fiber laser cutting machine.

Price cost of fiber laser cutting machine and plasma cutting machine:

Plasma cutting machine has low initial equipment investment and low maintenance cost, but the later cutting nozzle becomes the main consumable.

The cost of a fiber laser cutting machine is relatively high, the small power is close to the high-power plasma cutting machine, and the medium and high-power one-time investment is high. Low maintenance costs, but the optical lens becomes the main consumable at a later stage. Fiber laser cutting machines for cutting thin plates are the most cost-effective, but low efficiency in cutting medium-thick plates, unless the quality requirements are high, otherwise the medium-thick plate is not suitable for laser cutting.

Advantages of Fiber Laser Cutting Machine:

The fiber laser cutting machine was developed as a safer and more reliable process to meet manufacturing and production needs. fiber laser cutting is a non-contact process. The laser beam does not physically touch the material but uses heat to cut it.

Fiber laser cutting machines offer several advantages over plasma cutting machines. They provide superior precision and accuracy, making them ideal for intricate and detailed work, including fine cuts and complex shapes. The cutting speed of fiber lasers is significantly higher, especially for thin materials, resulting in increased productivity. They also produce a narrower kerf, which minimizes material wastage. Fiber lasers can cut a wider range of materials, including metals, plastics, and even reflective materials like aluminum and copper, with cleaner edges and less post-processing required. Additionally, fiber lasers are more energy-efficient, reduce operating costs, and have lower maintenance requirements due to fewer moving parts and no need for consumables like gas or electrodes, leading to a longer machine lifespan and reduced downtime.

Advantages of plasma cutting machines:

Plasma cutting offers versatility for different types of metals. Electric arcs are used to cut any conductive metal. They can typically complete a job in a quarter of the time of any other cutting tool.

Plasma cutting machines have advantages over fiber laser cutting machines in terms of versatility and cost-effectiveness. Plasma cutters are highly effective for cutting thicker materials, including stainless steel and aluminum, with a range typically extending up to several inches. They also tend to be more affordable both in terms of initial investment and operating costs, making them accessible to a wider range of businesses. Additionally, plasma cutting is less sensitive to reflective materials, which can pose challenges for fiber laser cutters. The ease of operation and maintenance, along with faster cutting speeds on thicker metals, further enhance the appeal of plasma cutting machines for heavy-duty industrial applications and repair shops.

How to choose between fiber laser cutting machine and plasma cutting machine?

You need to consider what materials you want to cut and their thickness. Fiber laser cutting machines offer greater accuracy and consistency. Plasma cutting machines offer greater versatility and require less capital investment.

Fiber laser cutting machines are generally suitable for: parts that have tight tolerance specifications and require very precise cuts or are thin to medium thickness.

Plasma cutting machines are generally suitable for: metals with high reflectivity, thicker materials, or parts requiring simple shapes.

In short, if you are not particularly picky about accuracy, have a limited budget, and are cutting thick plates, we recommend the plasma cutting machine.

On the other hand, if you want to cut delicate and beautiful things, such as advertising and decorative items, we recommend the fiber laser cutting machine. Although there is a lot of investment at the beginning, the impressive products it makes can help you get a lot of orders.

To sum up, in thin plate cutting laser cutting has more significant advantages, the field of fine plasma cutting in the thick plate is better, and in terms of cost, such as fine ion cutting relative to laser cutting is relatively affordable, both sides have a lot to offer! In the final analysis, rational investment, and practical arrangements, only suitable for their own processing needs of the equipment, are good equipment! Hope you have a better understanding of fiber laser and plasma cutting now. If you need any help, please feel free to contact us. Thank you.

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