How to Choose a Suitable Fiber Laser Over 10kW?

According to the report on the development of China’s laser industry, in the domestic fiber laser market, with the gradual improvement of the power and performance of domestic fiber lasers, the overall shipment of domestic conventional low and medium power fiber lasers has exceeded that of foreign products in the same power section, which really realizes the import substitution.

The overall shipment of domestic conventional ultra-high power fiber lasers above 10 kW is close to that of foreign products in the same power section.

This shows that domestic fiber lasers are gradually being accepted by the domestic market with the continuous enhancement of independent research and development strength.

At the same time, as the industrial market has higher and higher requirements for the processing of laser products, the demand for high-power 10000 watt lasers has increased year by year, which has become a general trend.

In the face of a wide range of 10000 watt lasers in the domestic market, customers have many doubts about how to choose suitable equipment.

Shipment of fiber lasers in China from 2018 to 2021 (unit Set)

1. FAQs about the selection of fiber lasers

Q1: is the higher the power, the higher the processing efficiency?

In recent years, high power is indeed becoming more and more popular in the laser processing industry.

Take Raycus laser as an example.

Last year, the sales of laser products above 10000 watts has exceeded 2380 units (a total of 3200 units in History), an increase of 243% over 2020, and the number is far more than that of other domestic friends;

In terms of power, Raycus laser’s continuous fiber laser products have reached 100 kW, creating a domestic precedent.

Does the higher the power, the higher the processing efficiency of laser products?

This is not the case, which depends on the configuration of the core components of the laser (active fiber, pump source, high-power combiner, etc.) and the type and thickness of the plate actually processed by the customer.

First of all, the core device configuration of the laser affects the processing efficiency of the laser to a certain extent.

More advanced core devices and their matching can achieve higher processing efficiency than other brands of lasers with the same power.

Secondly, it should be measured according to the type and thickness of plates processed by customers.

At the same time, in different applications, such as welding, cladding, etc., there are more factors that determine its processing efficiency.

Therefore, it is impossible to compare the processing efficiency only by looking at the power.

Then, let’s take a look at the comparison of the process effects of Raycus laser cutting carbon steel with different thickness at 12 kW, 20 kW and 30 kW.

comparison of the process effects of Raycus laser cutting carbon steel with different thickness at 12 kW, 20 kW and 30 kW
Mild Steel Thickness10mm16mm20mm25mm40mm
Efficiency Improvement25%41.70%83.30%114.30%22.20%

Multimode group 30 kW, multimode group 20 kW, and multi-mode group 12 kW cutting carbon steel for process measurement (the auxiliary gas not marked in the table is air)

It can be seen from the table that the efficiency of 30 kW auxiliary air cutting 10 mm thick carbon steel is 25% higher than that of 20 kW.

Although the efficiency is improved, the advantage is not very obvious, while the advantage of cutting 25 mm thick carbon steel is obvious, and the efficiency of 30 kW is 114.3% higher than that of 20 kW (auxiliary oxygen).

Product application cases

Therefore, from the perspective of practical application, customers should choose the most suitable high-power products according to the type and thickness of their own processed plates.

If the customer processes mostly thin plates, the products in the 10000 watt level can be selected to meet the processing efficiency they need to the greatest extent.

If the processing of medium and thick plates is in the majority or the processing volume is large, the 10000 watt laser products with higher power can be selected.

Because of the large processing volume, many customers will also choose the equipment equipped with Raycus laser 30 kW laser.

It is precisely because it can take into account the comprehensive needs of cutting speed and section quality of thin, medium and thick plates.

In particular, it has obvious advantages in air cutting medium and thick plates, which greatly improves the processing efficiency of the factory, thus reducing the overall operating costs and obtaining faster returns.

Q2: under the same power, the smaller the fiber core, the better?

As we all know, high power and high brightness are the direction of current laser technology breakthrough.

Some laser manufacturers have guided the view that “a small core represents high brightness”, which makes customers mistakenly believe that the smaller the core is, the stronger the laser is.

In fact, this is a misunderstanding.

High brightness laser is closely related to the BPP value of beam parameter product, BPP= ω ₀* θʀ,ω ₀ is the waist radius of the beam, θʀ is the far-field divergence angle of the laser beam.

The lower the BPP value, the better the beam quality.

Brightness is defined as the power per unit area and per unit solid angle.

Brightness Br=P/ (π *BPP)² .

There are two preconditions to achieve high brightness, one is to improve the laser power, and the other is to improve the beam quality.

Both single or joint improvement can bring about the improvement of the laser brightness. Although there are many ways to improve the power, the improvement of the beam quality is not the same as using a smaller core diameter fiber.

Because the core diameter cannot be equal to the beam waist diameter, when reducing the core, the far-field divergence angle of the beam must not be increased in order to reduce the BPP value and achieve better beam quality.

fiber core

BPP=ω₀*θʀ,ω ₀is girdle radius, θʀ is beam divergence angle

In the application scenario of ultra-high power fiber lasers, what customers need is the improvement of benefits, which can be achieved from two aspects:

The first is to improve the electro-optical conversion efficiency of fiber lasers, so as to save electricity and money;

The second is to improve the comprehensive processing efficiency, so as to achieve the purpose of improving efficiency and making more money.

Laser processing is a systematic project.

Only when the machine tool, system, gas path, processing head, laser source, plate and processing technology are multi-dimensional matched and complementary, can the utilization rate of the system be truly improved and the optimal income be created.

The electro-optical conversion efficiency of Raycus laser wanwa series fiber lasers is more than 40%, and the divergence angle is optimized to a large extent, so that it can better match the cutting heads and systems with different optical configurations of all brands in the market, so as to better take into account the cutting needs of customers for thin, medium and thick plates.

Q3: how to choose single-mode group and multi-mode group under the same power?

The module composition of fiber laser is divided into single-mode group and multi-mode group. In the cutting application, the focusing spot has a great impact on the cutting quality.

The single-mode 10000 watt laser adopts single fiber amplification to reach the 10000 watt level, the beam is near Gaussian distribution, and the energy is relatively concentrated.

Generally, the mode conversion method is used to realize the beam homogenization effect, and its effect is greatly affected by the consistency of devices.

Multi mode group 10000 watt lasers generally adopt multiple 2000~6000 w optical modules to combine beams, realizing the superposition of multiple beams, naturally forming homogenization effect and good consistency.

Comparison of beam patterns of single-mode and multi-mode 10000 watt fiber lasers

Comparison of beam patterns of single-mode and multi-mode 10000 watt fiber lasers (the upper 2 is a single-mode group, and the lower 2 is a multi module group)

The advantage of single-mode 10000 watt laser is the cutting speed of medium and thin plates. Compared with Raycus single-mode 12000 and multi-mode 12000 lasers, the cutting efficiency of single-mode 12000 laser is better than that of multi-mode 12000 fiber laser under the condition of stainless steel assisted nitrogen or air cutting with different thickness below 20 mm.

Mild Steel Thickness4mm8mm10mm20mm
Single module 12000W32m/min10.5m/min8.5m/min1.4m/min
Efficiency Improvement39.13%31.25%30.77%16.67%

Single mode group 12000 W and multimode group 12000 w

Comparison of measured data effect of cutting stainless steel process

Multi mode 10000 watt laser has better beam homogenization effect, which makes the advantage of thick plate cutting quality more obvious.

Some customers have very high requirements for processing sections, so they will still choose multimode fiber lasers.

In a word, single-mode group and multi-mode group cannot be simply compared.

They are both a configuration of fiber laser, just like a car.

Cars are suitable for roads and off-road are suitable for mountains, but cars can also run mountains and off-road are also suitable for roads.

Therefore, the choice of multi-mode or single-mode fiber laser depends on the actual processing needs of customers.

12000 W single module cutting 6 mm carbon steel effect

12000 W multimode group cutting 30 mm carbon steel effect

2. How to choose the right laser products over 10kW?

The choice of products needs to be based on the market application needs.

For the majority of user enterprises, it is the king to choose the laser with high cost performance according to the needs of specific application scenarios.

Customers can comprehensively measure from three aspects: processing demand, cost demand and service demand.

First of all, in terms of processing requirements, different users have different requirements for cutting thickness, speed and processing efficiency of plates.

Therefore, when selecting laser products, it is necessary to consider the actual processing demand of daily factory cutting plate and thickness.

Secondly, under the condition of maximizing the current processing demand, the use cost of products is also a major measurement factor.

The use cost of laser can be comprehensively compared from the electro-optical conversion efficiency, shutdown cost, purchase price and other factors of the product.

Finally, lasers are bulk commodities with high unit price and long service life, regardless of product performance parameters (beam quality, electro-optic conversion efficiency, stability, etc.), plate cutting demand and other factors.

Users also need to focus on the quality assurance and after-sales issues of products, and from this point of view, it is a better choice to choose a famous brand of lasers.

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