Lasers are known for fast cut speeds and excellent cut quality on thin (gauge to 1/2") metal. The disadvantage is the initial purchase price. Laser systems are expensive, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When talking about lasers, there are two main categories: gas (CO2) and solid state (such as disc and fiber.) Of the solid state lasers, fiber laser is the most popular for industrial cutting applications. Fiber laser is similar to a CO2 laser in that it uses a laser light to cut metal. However, the systems differ in many respects: the wavelength of the light, efficiency of the lasers, and frequency of maintenance are a few examples.
Fiber laser systems have a shorter wavelength which enables faster cutting on thin material and the ability to cut highly reflective materials such as brass and copper. In addition, the systems have a wall plug efficiency of 30 percent compared to 6 to 8 percent for a CO2 system; and require much less maintenance thanks to a solid state design and the absence of resonator optics, blowers, and delivery mirrors.
Learn about Hypertherm laser products by visiting www.hypertherm.com.