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Fiber Laser Cutting Machine VS Plasma Cutting Machine

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  • 6 min read

Fiber Laser Cutting Machine VS Plasma Cutting Machine

In metal cutting, the two processes of Fiber laser cutting machine and plasma cutting machine are used in automobiles, locomotives, ships, pressure vessels, chemical machinery, nuclear industry, general machinery, engineering machinery, steel structures, textiles, petroleum and other industries. Very extensive. So, when users choose cutting equipment, should they choose laser cutting machine or plasma cutting machine? Please follow in the footsteps of Wuhan Huayucheng Laser to explain the differences between the two from their respective principles, characteristics, application scope and their respective prospects, hoping to have a reference for users in the purchase process.

First of all, users need to start from their own point of view and understand their own needs before purchasing models. From which aspects, they need to be clear about the type of material to be processed, the shape of the workpiece, the thickness of the material, the processing accuracy, and the processing efficiency. Comprehensive investigation and selection of equipment suitable for their needs.

1. The principle, characteristics and scope of application of Fiber Laser Cutting Machine

The principle of Fiber Laser Cutting Machine is that after the laser is generated by the laser, it is transmitted by the reflecting mirror and irradiated on the processed object through the focusing mirror, so that the processed object (surface) is subjected to heat energy with extremely high energy density and the temperature increases sharply. The rapid vaporization or melting is matched with the movement track of the laser head to achieve the purpose of processing. The laser has almost no divergence directionality, extremely high luminous intensity, high coherence, high intensity, and high directionality, so the cutting speed is high, the precision is high, the cutting section quality is good, the cutting gap is narrow, and the cutting quality is good. For example, high-power laser cutting machines have narrow incision width (usually 0.1-0.2mm), high accuracy (0.01-0.02mm), and good incision surface roughness (usually Ra is 6.5-12.5μm), and slitting is generally not required It can be welded after processing. The cutting speed is fast, for example, the cutting speed of thin carbon steel can reach more than 10m/min. The laser cutting heat affected zone is small, the deformation is minimal, and the cutting is clean, safe and pollution-free, which greatly improves the working environment of the operator.

The applicable object of Fiber Laser Cutting Machine, taking high-power CO2 laser cutting as an example, there are four main types of laser cutting scope:

The first category, from a technical and economic point of view, laser cutting replaces metal sheet metal parts stamped by molds, especially low-carbon steel with a thickness of less than 20mm and stainless steel with a thickness of 10mm. Typical products are: various electrical cabinets, switch cabinets, elevator structural parts, elevator panels, machine and grain machinery covers, textile machinery parts, construction machinery structural parts, large electric motors, silicon steel sheets, etc.

The second category, workpieces that can hardly be stamped with molds, are mainly used in decoration, advertising, and service industries, such as patterns, marks, fonts, etc. of stainless steel (general thickness 3mm) or non-metallic materials (general thickness 20mm).

The third category is cutting special parts that require uniform slitting. The most widely used typical parts are die-cut plates used in the packaging and printing industry. In addition, the laser can cut organic materials such as plastics (polymers), rubber, wood, paper products, leather, and natural and synthetic fabrics; it can also cut inorganic materials such as quartz and ceramics, as well as new lightweight reinforced fiber polymers, etc. Composite materials.

The fourth category, cutting three-dimensional workpieces, using a three-dimensional laser cutting system or configuring industrial robots to cut spatial curves, such as car covers, doors, trunks, etc.

2. The principle, characteristics and scope of application of plasma cutting

Plasma arc cutting is a processing method that uses the heat of a high-temperature plasma arc to locally melt (and evaporate) the metal at the incision of the workpiece, and use the momentum of the high-speed plasma to remove the molten metal to form an incision.

The plasma cutting range is wide, and it can cut all metal plates and many non-metallic materials, mainly for medium and thick plates, and the cutting thickness can reach 50mm. Underwater cutting can eliminate noise, dust, harmful gases and arcs generated during cutting, which is conducive to environmental protection and meets the requirements of environmental protection in the 21st century. Plasma cutting with different working gases can cut all kinds of metals that are difficult to cut with oxygen, especially for non-ferrous metals (stainless steel, aluminum, copper, titanium, nickel).

The main advantage of plasma cutting is to cut metal workpieces with a large thickness. The plasma cutting speed is fast, especially when cutting ordinary carbon steel sheets, the speed can reach 5-6 times that of oxygen cutting, the cutting surface is smooth, the thermal deformation is small, and there is almost no Heat affected zone. The working gas that can be used in plasma cutting (working gas is the conductive medium of the plasma arc, it is the heat-carrying body, and at the same time the molten metal in the incision must be excluded) has a significant impact on the cutting characteristics, cutting quality and speed of the plasma arc. Commonly used plasma arc working gases are argon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, air, water vapor and some mixed gases.

3. Market application prospects of Fiber Laser Cutting Machine and plasma cutting

According to statistics, the global cumulative possession of complete sets of high-power CNC laser cutting equipment has reached about 40,000 units (sets), of which more than 10,000 units in the United States and Japan, while China currently owns about 2,000 complete sets of high-power CNC laser cutting equipment. . With the rapid development of the equipment manufacturing industry, my country’s CNC laser cutting complete equipment has entered a period of rapid growth, with an annual growth rate of more than 30%.

In the world market, laser cutting machines are developing in the direction of high power, large format, and thick plates. With the advancement of major projects such as railway construction, highway construction, water conservancy construction, hydropower construction, energy, mining construction, and construction Large-format thick steel plate laser cutting machines will be widely used in China’s construction machinery industry.

In recent years, the annual market demand for CNC plasma cutting machines in my country has reached 1,000, and there is a trend of increasing year by year, especially in industries such as shipbuilding, construction machinery, bridge construction, and steel structures, where applications are very common. At present, my country has rapidly developed to the high-end numerical control in the application of plasma cutting, and has broad development space in various industries.

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