Comparison of fiber laser cutting and traditional metal cutting

There are many tools for metal cutting in the industrial market, such as laser cutting machine, water jet cutting machine, plasma cutting machine, wire cutting machine, etc. Many customers do not know how to choose when purchasing, so let the laser cutting machine manufacturer now Let me introduce you to their differences.

Laser cutting PK water jet cutting PK plasma cutting PK wire cutting

With the rapid development of the industrial market, the demand in the sheet metal processing industry is increasing, and the metal laser cutting machine has also quickly occupied the market, replacing the traditional metal cutting mode. Now let the Chinese laser cutting machine supplier give a detailed introduction to the difference between laser cutting equipment and other cutting

What is laser cutting machine?

Laser cutting is to irradiate the workpiece with a focused high-power density laser beam, so that the irradiated material rapidly melts, vaporizes, ablates or reaches the ignition point. open. Laser cutting can be divided into four categories: laser vaporization cutting, laser melting cutting, laser oxygen cutting and laser scribing and controlled fracture.

laser cutting machine

What is water jet cutting?

Water cutting, also known as water jet, that is, high-pressure water jet cutting technology, is a machine that uses high-pressure water flow to cut. The workpiece can be carved arbitrarily under the control of the computer, and it is less affected by the texture of the material. Because of its low cost, easy operation and high yield, water cutting is gradually becoming the mainstream cutting method in industrial cutting technology. Water cutting is divided into two methods: no-sand cutting and sand-added cutting.

water jet cutting

What is a plasma cutter?

Plasma arc cutting is a processing method in which the heat generated by the high temperature plasma arc is used to locally melt (evaporate) the metal at the incision of the workpiece, and the pulse of high-speed plasma is used to remove the molten metal to form the incision.

plasma cutting machine

What is a wire EDM?

Wire EDM belongs to the category of electrical machining, and Wire EDM is sometimes called wire EDM. Wire cutting can be divided into fast wire cutting, medium wire cutting and slow wire cutting. The wire speed of fast wire EDM wire cutting is 6-12m/s, and the electrode wire moves back and forth at high speed, so the cutting accuracy is poor. Center wire EDM is a new technology developed in recent years that realizes multiple frequency conversion cutting functions on the basis of fast wire cutting. The wire speed of WEDM is 0.2m/s, the electrode wire moves in one direction at a low speed, and the cutting accuracy is very high.

flame cutting machine

4 Kinds of metal cutting application range

Laser cutting machine has a wide range of applications, no matter metal or non-metal, can be cut, non-metal, such as cloth, leather, etc. can be cut with CO2 laser cutting machine, metal can be cut with fiber laser cutting machine, the plate deformation is small.

Water cutting is a cold cutting, no thermal deformation, good quality of the cutting surface, no need for secondary processing, if necessary, it is easy to perform secondary processing. Water cutting can punch and cut any material (including reflective materials, composite materials, sensitive materials, etc. that cannot be or are difficult to cut by lasers. Such as stones, alloys, etc.), with fast cutting speed and flexible processing dimensions.

fiber laser cutter

The plasma cutting machine can be used to cut various metal materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, copper, cast iron, carbon steel, etc. Plasma cutting has obvious thermal effect and low precision, so it is not suitable for secondary processing during cutting. surface.

Wire cutting can only cut conductive materials, and coolant cutting is required during the cutting process. Therefore, non-conductive materials such as paper-cut and leather, which are afraid of water and refrigerant pollution, cannot be used.

Comparison of cutting thickness

Laser cutting: carbon steel <20mm (common), carbon steel <40mm (limit), stainless steel <16mm (common), stainless steel <25mm (limit)

Water jet cutting: carbon steel <25-40mm (commonly used) carbon steel <100mm (limit) stainless steel <30-50mm (commonly used) stainless steel <400mm (limit)

Plasma cutting: carbon steel <20-30mm (commonly used) carbon steel <120mm (limit)

Wire cutting: carbon steel <40-60mm (commonly used) carbon steel <600mm (limit)

laser cutter

Comparison of cutting speed

Laser cutting

1200W power laser can cut 2mm thick low carbon steel plate, the cutting speed can reach 600cm/min; for 5mm thick polypropylene resin plate, the cutting speed can reach 1200cm/min.

The cutting efficiency that can be achieved by wire cutting is generally 20-60mm2/min, up to 300mm2/min; obviously, the laser cutting speed is fast and can be used for mass production.

Water jet cutting

The cutting speed of water directly related to the thickness and hardness of the workpiece. Many people think that laser cutting is far superior to water cutting in cutting speed, but ignore the limitation of laser cutting thickness.

Plasma cutting

The cutting speed of plasma cutting is slow and the relative precision is low. Better for cutting thick plates, but with sloped end faces.

Wire cutting

For metalworking, wire cutting is more accurate but slow. Sometimes other punching and threading methods are required for cutting, and the cut size is very limited.

For metalworking, wire cutting is more accurate but slow. Sometimes other punching and threading methods are required for cutting, and the cut size is very limited.

metal laser cutter

The speed and surface quality of fiber laser cutting compared with water cutting:

Advantages of fiber laser cutting: fast cutting speed, can be used for mass production; high processing accuracy, good repeatability, no damage to the surface of the material; can cut the entire board with a large format, no need to open a mold, economical and time-saving; not limited to The cutting pattern is limited, the automatic typesetting saves material, the incision is smooth, and the processing cost is low.

Disadvantages of water cutting: the speed is quite slow and not suitable for mass production.

The surface roughness of laser cutting is not as good as that of water cutting, and the thicker the material, the more obvious it is. Water cutting will not change the texture of the material around the cutting seam (laser is thermal cutting, which will change the texture around the cutting area).

metal laser cutter

Accuracy comparison

The laser cutting incision is narrow, the two sides of the incision are parallel and perpendicular to the surface, and the dimensional accuracy of the cutting piece can reach 0.2mm.

Plasma can reach within 1mm;

There is no thermal deformation when cutting with water, and the accuracy is 0.1mm. The use of dynamic water jet cutting machine can improve the cutting accuracy, the cutting accuracy can reach 0.02mm, and the cutting slope can be eliminated.

The machining accuracy of wire cutting is generally 0.010.02mm, and the highest is 0.004mm.

laser cutter

Cut width comparison

Laser cutting is more precise than plasma cutting, and the gap is small, about 0.5mm.

Plasma cutting is larger than laser cutting, about 1-2mm;

The water cutting slit is about 10% larger than the diameter of the knife tube, generally 0.8mm1.2mm. As the diameter of the sanding tube expands, the cut expands.

The slit width of wire cutting is the smallest, generally around 0.1-0.2mm.


Comparison of cut quality

The surface roughness of laser cutting is not as good as water cutting, and the thicker the material, the more obvious it is.

Cutting with water will not change the texture of the material around the cut seam (laser is thermal cutting and will change the texture of the cut area). Cutting with water does not generate harmful gases or liquids, nor does it generate heat on the workpiece surface. This is a truly versatile and efficient cold cutting process.

Equipment cost

Different models of laser cutting machines have different prices: the cheapest, such as carbon dioxide laser cutting machines, cost only 20,000 to 30,000 yuan, while expensive ones, such as fiber laser cutting machines and 1000W metal laser cutting machines, cost about $30,000. The high-power 10,000-watt laser cutting machine is as high as 400,000 US dollars. Laser cutting has no consumables, but the investment cost of equipment is the highest among all cutting methods, and it is not higher, and the use and maintenance costs are also quite high.

Compared with laser cutting machines, water cutting equipment is much more economical, and the price varies according to the configuration and brand of the water cutting machine.

laser cutting machine

The cost of wire cutting is generally around tens of thousands of yuan. However, there are consumables for wire cutting such as molybdenum wire and cutting coolant. There are two types of wires commonly used in wire cutting. One is molybdenum wire (molybdenum is precious ^^) for fast moving wire equipment. The advantage is that the molybdenum wire can be used repeatedly; it is much cheaper), for slow wire equipment, the disadvantage is that the copper wire can only be used once. Moreover, the fast line machine is much cheaper than the slow line machine. The price of a slow line machine is equivalent to 5 or 6 fast line machines.

Production cost of fiber laser cutting versus water cutting:

The power of the laser cutting machine varies in price, ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions.

Different types of fiber laser cutting machines have different prices. Cheap ones such as carbon dioxide laser cutting machines are only 20,000 to 30,000 yuan, and expensive ones, such as 1000W fiber laser cutting machines, now cost more than one million yuan. Laser cutting has no consumables, but the equipment investment cost is the highest among all cutting methods.

The cost of water cutting equipment is second only to laser cutting. It has high energy consumption and high maintenance costs. The cutting speed is not as fast as that of laser cutting. The environmental pollution is also more serious.

Metal laser cutter cutting different materials

Laser cutting of general carbon steel

Mild steel with over 99% iron, suitable for oxy-melt laser cutting. The oxidation reaction of iron generates a lot of heat, which can reduce the energy requirements of the laser, and oxygen can freely enter the molten material through the iron oxide layer caused by the oxidation reaction. Due to the low viscosity of the oxide slag, it is easily blown away by the airflow. Therefore, laser cutting mild steel has high speed and smooth incision.

Laser cutting of stainless steel

High-pressure nitrogen is generally used for cutting stainless steel. The laser energy is high, the incision is white and bright, no oxidation, no discoloration, and less burrs. If cutting with oxygen, under the same power, the speed can be faster, but the cut will oxidize and turn black. Considering that stainless steel contains different compositions of chromium or nickel, different types of stainless steel may require different cutting parameters and results will vary.


Laser cut copper material

Copper is very similar to aluminum, and brass is highly reflective to laser light, but red (purple) copper requires oxygen to be blown for better cutting. There will be burrs on the back, which are easy to scrape off.

Laser cutting of aluminum

Due to the high reflectivity of aluminum and its alloys to the laser, higher energies are required to cut better. Cutting can be done with air or nitrogen. The cut is relatively white, but whether it’s an air or nitrogen cut, there’s a small amount of foam burr edge on the back, but it’s easy to remove.

fiber laser cutter

Laser Cut Nickel Alloys

Laser cutting of nickel alloys is similar to stainless steel cutting, but due to the high viscosity of molten nickel, the slag is more likely to stick to the back of the cutting seam, which is prone to burrs, and it is usually better to cut with oxygen.

Laser cutting of titanium and its alloys

Oxygen cutting is a violent reaction because the oxidation of titanium releases a lot of thermal energy. While fast, it’s easy to overburn the cut. Generally, air cutting is used. There is a small amount of hair residue on the back, but it is easy to remove, so it is easier to control the cutting effect. Nitrogen cutting can also reduce the problem of oxidative contamination, but the thermal effects of the cut can easily change the mechanical properties of the material.

fiber laser 1
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