Virmer has released Virmer fiber and Virmer co2 laser machines for the last 15 years. The strong demand for our products in Europe results from the fact that we do not compromise on quality.
If you want to mark metal, you need to buy a fiber laser. A CO2 laser is an excellent option for preserving organic materials such as fabric, wood, or cardboard. A high-power CW (continuous wave) fiber laser is most likely needed if your application involves laser cutting metals. Other materials, such as rubber and plastic, can be either one or the other. The main difference in the processing capabilities of each laser is its wavelength. A typical wavelength of a fiber laser is 1,060 nm. Laser beams are highly concentrated, high-frequency light beams (amplifying light by stimulated emission of radiation). A powerful beam can focus on a small area. Whenever a laser beam focuses on a material, the focused area rapidly heats up and converts the light into heat energy.
When the hot material melts and blows away, a hole creates in it. You can use a laser cutting beam to cut various materials, from a small sheet of paper to a heavy metal plate. On other materials, though, different laser types can produce mixed results.
A CO2 laser machine has a better efficiency rating than other gas lasers because it can convert about 10-20% of the electrical input power into valuable optical energy. Most commercially available machines use a CO2 laser with a wavelength of 10.6 m and a wavelength of 9 to 11 m. This makes it possible for the CO2 laser beam to pass through most materials, including wood, plastic, and some metals.
The two most commonly used lead lasers for laser cutting are fiber and CO2 lasers. Their functional advantage distinguishes them from one another. A CO2 laser uses CO2 gas, but a fiber laser uses a solid-state medium, optical fiber.
For high-contrast markings such as metal annealing, etching, and engraving, fiber lasers work well. They are an excellent option for permanently marking serial numbers, barcodes, and data matrices on metals as they produce a smaller focal diameter and are 100 times more intense than CO2 systems. For applications such as direct component marking and product identification, fiber lasers are ubiquitous.
The fact that fiber lasers require no maintenance and have a long life is a significant advantage (our lasers have a working life of at least 100,000). Compared to CO2 lasers, they are also smaller. Fiber lasers consume much less power than CO2 lasers due to their high electrical efficiency, resulting in a significantly lower cost of cutting applications.
Industrial cleaning applications, which include the removal of rust, paint, oxides, and other contaminants, are also seeing increased demand for fiber lasers.
Depending on the uses you plan to put the fiber laser system to, the cost will change dramatically. In demanding environments like ours, industrial fiber laser systems typically cost between $40,000 and $1,000,000 for high-power laser cutting equipment.
A fiber laser uses a solid optical fiber (fiber optic) cable as its receiving medium, unlike gas-based CO2 lasers.
Rare earth elements such as ytterbium, erbium, neodymium, dysprosium, praseodymium, thulium, and holmium are added to the fiber optic cable. The four power sources are lasers, which connect to optical cables, laser diodes, and fiber optic cables.
The CO2 laser
Various non-metallic materials, such as plastic, fabric, glass, acrylic, wood, and even stone, can be marked with CO2 lasers. They are used to designate PVC pipes, construction materials, mobile communication devices, electrical appliances, pharmaceuticals, food packaging, integrated circuits, and electronic components.
A CO2 laser is authentic for cutting thicker materials. When cutting material wider than 5 mm, CO2 lasers provide faster initial penetration times, straight line cuts, and smoother surfaces.
Unfortunately, CO2 lasers require much more power than fiber lasers, which increases their operating costs. For example, driving at maximum capacity, a high-power CO2 laser and chiller will consume about 70 kW. Fiber lasers of comparable power use almost 18 kW.
Contrary to popular belief, CO2 lasers are more widespread. A hobbyist-grade K40 laser cutter can produce a 40-W CO2 laser beam that can cut designs in paper, wood engraving, decorative laminates, acrylics, and even neon lighting. Because of their near-invisibility, CO2 laser beams also work in laser technology for driverless vehicles.
While each laser has its advantages and specific applications, CO2 is the more established technology, and fiber lasers are rapidly outpacing it as the field evolves. The financial benefits of employing fiber lasers can be game-changing due to their speed advantages, roughly half the operating costs, and three- to four times better throughput than CO2 lasers. If you want to start an industry and you are finding machines and equipment for your factory. Try to select the most suitable Virmer machines that suit you.