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How Should You Choose Between Fiber Laser and Solid-State Laser?

For the domestic situation, the technology and development of fiber lasers are relatively mature.

Fiber Laser

If the fiber laser is used, the domestic one can be considered, which is better in delivery time and cost;

If you want to choose solid-state lasers, high-end products generally choose foreign ones;

Because the domestic solid-state lasers started relatively late and are limited by technology, there are few large-scale solid-state laser manufacturers in China, so it is often difficult to find suitable products.

What are the differences between solid-state lasers and fiber lasers?

solid-state lasers

1. Differences in application scenarios

Both solid-state lasers and fiber lasers can be used in major laser processing fields such as marking, cutting, drilling, welding and additive manufacturing.

However, due to the characteristics of fiber lasers and solid-state lasers, there are differences in the specific application scenarios in each subdivision field:

Micromachining field

Micromachining

Solid state lasers are used in most application scenarios in this field, and pulsed fiber lasers can be used in some cases.

Solid state lasers can convert infrared light into short wavelength lasers such as green light, ultraviolet light and deep ultraviolet light through frequency doubling crystals in the resonant cavity and output them to the outside.

Shorter wavelength is the development trend of micromachining laser, which has low thermal effect and high energy utilization efficiency, so it can effectively improve the machining accuracy and realize ultra-fine and ultra-fine machining.

With the characteristics of short wavelength (UV, deep UV), short pulse width (picosecond, femtosecond) and high peak power, solid-state lasers are mainly used in the field of precision micromachining of non-metallic materials and thin, brittle and other metal materials.

In addition, solid-state lasers are widely used in cutting-edge scientific research in environmental, medical, military and other fields.

Macro processing field

How Should You Choose Between Fiber Laser and Solid-State Laser? 1

Fiber lasers are mainly used in this field, and solid-state lasers are generally not used.

CW fiber laser has the characteristics of high average power.

It is widely used in macro processing such as cutting and welding of thick metal materials.

CW laser has a high penetration in the field of macro processing, and has gradually replaced the traditional processing methods in this field.

In summary:

① Pulsed fiber laser can be used in the field of micromachining, but because it can only output infrared light with long wavelength, the single pulse energy is small, the thermal effect is obvious, the machining accuracy is relatively low, and some materials cannot absorb infrared light, resulting in its limited scope of application.

Therefore, the application scope of pulsed fiber laser in the field of micromachining is limited, and it is generally only used in micromachining scenes with machining accuracy greater than 20 microns;

② Solid state lasers are widely used in the field of micromachining, because they can convert infrared light into beams of green light, ultraviolet light and other wavelengths through nonlinear crystal frequency doubling.

They have a wide range of materials, good beam quality, large single pulse energy and small thermal effect.

They can realize “cold machining” and can be applied to high-precision micromachining scenes with machining accuracy less than 20 microns (machining accuracy up to nanometer level), Therefore, it has strong technical advantages in the field of micro machining;

③ The main type of fiber laser is continuous fiber laser.

With its high output power, CW fiber laser is widely used in macro processing fields with processing accuracy above millimeter level, such as laser cutting and welding of industrial metals.

Macro processing has a large demand for laser equipment, and the market capacity of macro processing is greater than that of micro processing;

In general:

The solid-state laser is large in volume, easy to be disturbed by external vibration, temperature change and other factors, poor in stability, difficult to maintain, and high in maintenance cost. However, the output peak power can be very high, the beam quality is good, and the sex noise ratio is high.

The fiber laser has small structure, stable performance, is not easy to be disturbed by the outside world, easy to operate and maintain, poor beam quality, poor performance to noise ratio, and difficult to achieve high peak power.

2. Different users

Because of its high output power, fiber laser is mainly used in the field of macro processing (laser macro processing generally refers to the processing of the size and shape of the processing object with the influence range of laser beam on millimeter level; 

Micromachining generally refers to the machining of size and shape with precision of micron or even nano scale);

Solid state laser has the advantages of short wavelength, narrow pulse width and high peak power.

It is widely used in the field of micromachining, resulting in some differences between the users of solid-state laser and fiber laser.

Solid state laser and fiber laser have their own application fields.

There is no direct competition between the two in most fields.

In the field of metal material processing overlapped in the field of micro processing, when the metal reaches a certain thickness, the traditional method or fiber laser is generally used in this field due to cost reasons.

Solid state laser is only used in the scene where the metal thickness is thin or the processing requirements are high and the cost is not sensitive.

In addition, the coincidence degree of competition between the two is low.

Solid state lasers are mainly used for the processing of non-metallic materials (glass, ceramics, plastics, polymers, packaging, other brittle materials, etc.), and in the field of metal materials, they are used in scenes that require high precision and are relatively insensitive to cost.

3. Market share

China is in the process of transformation and upgrading of manufacturing industry from medium and low-end manufacturing to high-end manufacturing.

Medium and low-end manufacturing accounts for a high proportion.

The macro processing market covers both medium and low-end manufacturing and some high-end manufacturing. The market demand is large.

Therefore, the market capacity of fiber lasers is large.

Domestic low-power fiber lasers have a high degree of localization, and there are many large-scale manufacturers in China.

According to the report on the development of China’s laser industry, low-power fiber lasers have been fully replaced by domestic ones;

In terms of medium power CW fiber lasers, domestic quality has no obvious disadvantages, obvious price advantages and equal market share;

In terms of high-power CW fiber lasers, some domestic brands have been sold.

As for solid-state lasers, due to the late development in China, there is no listed company with this product as its main business at present. Generally, it buys foreign brands.

4. Division of solid state laser application fields

1. Consumer electronics

The processing requirements for precision electronic components in the consumer electronics industry are constantly improving.

Laser processing technology has become the main processing means in the industry with its characteristics of high precision, fast speed and no damage.

Taking solid-state lasers as an example, the issuer’s products have broad application space in the production processes such as cutting, drilling and marking of printed circuit boards (PCB/FPC).

Low and medium power nanosecond solid-state lasers can be used for PCB marking, while medium and high power nanosecond solid-state lasers, picosecond and femtosecond lasers can be used for cutting, drilling and PI film cutting of PCB/FPC boards.

In addition to printed circuit boards, laser micromachining technology is also used in cutting, marking, drilling, micro welding and other fields of brittle materials and metal materials.

2. 3D printing

3D printing

3D printing is a kind of rapid prototyping technology.

Based on the digital model file, the object is constructed by printing layer by layer using the bindable materials such as powder metal, plastic and liquid photosensitive resin.

The solid-state laser is the industry choice in the field of liquid photosensitive resin curing.

The issuer’s low-power nanosecond UV laser has been widely used in this field.

3. New energy

Solid state lasers are widely used in key processes such as cutting and precise scribing of solar cells and silicon wafers, marking, cutting and welding of lithium battery materials.

Taking the issuer’s products as an example, in the field of photovoltaic solar energy, high-power nanosecond solid-state lasers and picosecond lasers can be used for cutting and precise scribing of solar cells and silicon wafers, and low-power nanosecond UV lasers can be used for grooving of solar cells and silicon wafers;

In the field of new energy vehicles, low-power nanosecond solid-state lasers and picosecond lasers can be used for marking the shell of lithium batteries, and medium and high-power nanosecond solid-state lasers, picosecond and femtosecond lasers can be used for precision cutting and welding of battery materials.

4.5g communication

5g communication

2019 is regarded as the “first year” of 5g technology commercialization.

The gradual commercialization of 5g technology will provide a broad development space for the micro processing laser industry.

5g network has the characteristics of high rate and low delay, which requires high performance of compound semiconductors.

The material and manufacturing process of mobile phone will be changed to adapt to 5g technology.

At the same time, laser processing technology needs to be applied in many links of mobile phone production.

Laser marking, laser welding, laser cutting, laser drilling, laser etching, laser direct molding and other technologies are widely used in different production links of mobile phone manufacturing.

Micro processing laser technology will play an important role in the field of 5g mobile phone manufacturing.

According to canalys, the global 5g mobile phone shipment will reach about 1.9 billion in the next five years, and the laser micro processing industry represented by solid-state laser technology will benefit greatly;

In addition, as the 5g base station enters the intensive construction period, the demand for PCB / FPC boards with higher processing accuracy as the main electronic materials will show a rapid growth trend.

5. Advantages of fiber laser

Fiber coupled laser can better realize the production and processing of multi-dimensional arbitrary space through fiber introduction.

The principle of mechanical design is made simpler by fiber coupled laser, which can effectively simplify the relevant steps of work and production, so as to make the cumbersome production process simpler and more organized, and ensure the realization of standardized production process;

After continuous upgrading and improvement, the fiber coupled laser has low power consumption.

By adjusting the combination of products and accessories, the fiber coupled laser can achieve strong operation effect.

Fiber coupled laser can meet the needs of high-intensity processing and improve the production process to achieve the purpose of improving operation efficiency.

In addition, the fiber coupled laser has the characteristics of fast heat dissipation and strong resilience, which can ensure that the constituted machine and equipment do not generate heat and other problems during long-term operation, and can operate smoothly even in harsh environments.

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