What you need to know about CO2 VS Fiber Lasers
The most common laser sources for laser machines are Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Fiber Lasers.
Not entirely sure what that means? Fret not as we unpack the differences between CO2 and fiber lasers, the benefits of each, and which to choose for your production line.
What is a Fiber Laser?
With fiber lasers, an optical fiber cable made of silicone is used to amplify and pass light through a lens onto the desired surface. This results in a straighter and smaller, highly precise, laser beam compared to other laser types.
Its increased precision makes fiber lasers the optimal choice for engraving and marking metal surfaces, such as serial numbers and codes on metals.
What is a CO2 Laser?
A carbon dioxide, or CO2 laser uses electricity passed through a small tube full of gas to product light. This light is then reflected via mirrors to produce a small beam of light, or a laser beam.
CO2 lasers are best suited to mark non-metallic materials, including but not limited to, plastics, textiles, glass, acrylic, stone and wood. CO2 lasers are often found in pharmaceutical manufacturing and electrical components.
Benefits of Fiber Laser Machines
- Long Service Life (Needham's N-Lase systems have a mean time before fail of 100,000+ hours)
- Smaller than CO2 Laser Machines
- Less Costly (Requires less power to run)
- Double to Triple Speed (compared to CO2 lasers in thin materials)
Benefits of CO2 Laser Machines
- Lower Price Point
- Increased Material Versatility
- More Predictable and Known
- Better Edge Quality (on stainless steel and aluminum surfaces)
Which is better - CO2 or Fiber Laser Machines?
The choice between CO2 and Fiber Laser differs between each company. While there is no straight answer, the better choice can be found by inspecting your production needs, output and production level. While the fiber laser is more cost-efficient, the CO2 laser has the ability to mark a wider range of materials.
Still having a hard time deciding between the two? Reach out to our friendly sales team for help!