2020-11-19 / Max
Fiber Laser Cutting VS Plasma Cutting

As the pioneer of China's 10,000 watt-level lasers, Maxphotonics has overcome all obstacles and opened up a new thoroughfare for the application and market promotion of Chinese 10,000 watt-level lasers, the shipment volume has continued to grow and has now reached 400+ units. Driven by Maxphotonics, most Chinese customers have also begun to enter the 10,000 watt-level market.


According to the analysis of consumption of China's steel industry, the main application industries of steel are construction, machinery, automobiles, energy, followed by shipbuilding and home appliances. Most of the plates used in these industries are medium and thick plates. Plasma cutting is often used in traditional medium and thick plate processing.


However, there are some problems. For example, plasma cannot cut small holes, poor dimensional accuracy, large thermal influence, cannot cut small parts, wide slit, waste material, etc.


Fiber laser cutting can make up for the shortcomings of plasma cutting, especially the development of 10,000 watt-level laser cutting, which solves the limitation of thick plate cutting in the past, and is favored by more and more sheet metal processing users.


At present, many industries such as heavy industry are discussing and experimenting to replace plasma cutting with 10,000 watt-level laser cutting, and they have seen the better efficiency, effect, and benefit brought by 10,000 watt-level laser.


Because the laser beam can be focused into a very small spot, the laser slit is smaller for the same size plate, the slit of plasma cutting is larger. Compared with plasma cutting, fiber laser cutting can save 6-9% of materials.


Cost  Comparison of Slit Materials

20mm

25mm

30mm

40mm

300A  Plasma

3.80 RMB/m

4.75 RMB/m

5.70 RMB/m

7.60 RMB/m

20000W

Fiber Laser

1.04 RMB/m

1.30 RMB/m

1.55 RMB/m

2.07 RMB/m

Material Saving

2.76RMB/m

3.45  RMB/m

4.15  RMB/m

5.53  RMB/m

Remark: Q235 carbon steel is calculated at 4400 RMB/t, material  density: 7.85g/cm^3, thickness: ≥20mm,  plasma cutting slit: 5-6mm, fiber laser cutting slit: 1.5mm


Fiber laser cutting slit: 1.5mm


As far as cutting precision is concerned, plasma is within 1mm, and fiber laser can reach within 0.2mm. The cutting principle of the plasma cutting machine is to use the heat of high temperature plasma arc to melt the metal at the cut of the workpiece, but the cutting surface is rough and low accuracy.


Fiber laser cutting has no contact with the surface of the workpiece, with small slits, high precision, smooth end faces, no burrs, which can meet the high precision requirements of aerospace, power equipment, petroleum equipment, automobile manufacturing, and more industries.


Workpieces:

12mm carbon steel, 500mm diameter gear, sharp corner R1mm, 42 pieces (as shown below).


Plasma processing:

300A plasma blanking + bottom burr grinding + gear milling corners requires 2 people, around 1 hour and 10 minutes to complete, 2 transfers, 3 processing positions.


10,000 watt-levelfiber laser processing:

1 person, completedin 1.5 minutes, no transfer, direct shaping of gear sharp corners, no need for grinding, air cutting, saving processing costs.



Due to the limitations of plasma cutting equipment, plate processing, and processing technology, the minimum diameter of the plasma cutting aperture can only be approximately equal to the thickness of the processed plate, for example, 20mm steel plate can only be processed with an aperture greater than or equal to 20mm, if the aperture is smaller, It cannot be processed by plasma cutting machine.


Fiber laser processing has high flexibility, can adjust the size of aperture, and the beam spot diameter can be reduced to the micron level to obtain high power density. The minimum diameter of 10,000 watt-level fiber laser cutting aperture can reach 10-20% of the thickness of the processed plate, for example, 20mm thick steel plate can process a 2-4mm aperture which can cut different apertures on thick metal at one time.


Workpieces:

20mm carbon steel, 500mm diameter disc, processed 50 of 4, 6, 8, 10mm through holes(as shown below).


Plasma processing:

300A plasma blanking + bottom burr grinding + vertical disc section milling + drilling requires 2-3 people, 1 hour and 40 minutes to complete, 3 transfers, 4 kinds of processing positions, 4 types of drill bit replacement.


10,000 watt-level fiber laser processing:

1 person, 5 minutes to complete, no transfer, one-time molding, bright surface of the hole wall, no taper, high precision of workpiece size.




Fiber laser processing is flexible, and it can process any complex graphics, cut pipes, and other profiles. Besides, fiber laser cutting is a non-contact cutting, ensure that the workpiece is not scratched, the cutting edge is less affected by heat, no thermal deformation, and the whole process is pollution-free.


Plasma cutting will cause large or small damage to the workpiece. If there is a problem with the cutting nozzle during cutting process, it will cause obvious defects to the plate, and the smoke and dust will pollute the environment.


Plasma cutting site                                                                             Fiber laser cutting site  

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