Plasma Cutting Machine VS Fiber Laser Cutting Machine

When cutting metals, there are two main cutting options: plasma cutting and laser cutting. Both methods provide effective solutions for materials that are not suitable for traditional cutting.

At FORSUN CNC, we manufacture the latest fiber laser cutting, plasma cutting, and more. Similarly, we provide customers with the best cutting machine performance and service.

A question most customers usually ask is: “Should I use fiber laser cutting or plasma cutting?” In this article, we will study the difference between laser cutting and plasma cutting: Plasma Cutting Machine VS Fiber Laser Cutting Machine

What Is A Fiber Laser Machine/Plasma Cutting Machine?

What Is A Fiber Laser Machine?

The working principle of fiber laser cutting is to focus the power of a high-power laser onto the surface of the material to be cut. The energy in the laser beam is absorbed to the surface of the material, and the energy of the laser is converted into heat, thereby melting or evaporating the material. In addition, gas is focused or blown into the cutting area to expel or blow away molten metal and vapor from the cutting path.

Benefits of fiber laser cutting system
Compared with traditional CO2 lasers, choosing a fiber laser cutting system will have many advantages. Due to its high-quality beam, fiber laser will enable you to cut, engrave, and mark various metal materials.

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What Is A Plasma Cutting Machine?

Plasma cutting is the oldest form of cutting. Its history can be traced back to the 1950s and is an alternative to flame cutting. Plasma cutting is performed by jetting superheated ionized gas (ie plasma) from a nozzle toward the workpiece at a high speed. Then an arc is formed in the gas. The arc ionizes part of the gas, thereby forming a conductive channel for the plasma in the process. When the electricity from the torch travels down the plasma, it generates enough heat to melt through the workpiece. The plasma and compressed gas blow away the hot molten metal, causing the workpiece to separate.

Plasma cutting is a low-cost cutting that provides high speed and high precision through the melting process. Among them, a jet of ionized gas is used to melt the material and discharge it from the incision. Typical materials cut with a plasma torch include steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and copper, although other conductive metals can also be cut. Plasma cutting machines are usually used in manufacturing workshops, automobile maintenance, and repair, industrial buildings, etc. Like laser cutting machines, plasma cutting machines ultimately cut metal by melting it.

How Do They Work?

How Does A Fiber Laser Machine Work?

Because the fiber laser cutting machine replaces the traditional mechanical knife with an invisible beam, the mechanical part of the laser head has no contact with the work, and will not scratch the work surface during work; the laser cutting speed is fast, and the incision is smooth and flat. No subsequent processing is required; the cutting heat affected zone is small.
The fiber laser cutting machine uses a high-power density laser beam to scan the surface of the material, heat the material to thousands to tens of thousands of degrees Celsius in a very short time, to melt or vaporize the material, and then use high-pressure gas to remove the melted or vaporized material from Blow away in the slit to achieve the purpose of cutting the material.

How Does A CNC Plasma Cutting Machine Work?

The CNC plasma cutting machine is a new type of thermal cutting equipment. Its working principle is to use the heat of the high-temperature plasma arc to locally melt the metal at the incision of the workpiece, and use the momentum of the high-speed plasma to remove the molten metal to form an incision.

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Work Video:

Fiber Laser Cutting Machine YouTube Video:

Plasma Cutting Machine YouTube Video:

Machine Applications:

Fiber Laser Cutting Machine Applications:

Fiber laser cutting is mainly used to cut medium-sized thin plates.

Because the laser has the characteristics of high directionality, high brightness, and high intensity, the laser cutting speed is fast, the processing accuracy is high, and the cutting seam is very narrow and does not require subsequent processing.

Plasma Cutting Machine Applications:

Plasma cutting is suitable for cutting various metal materials. It is mainly used for cutting medium and thick plates.

The advantages: Fast cutting speed, narrow cutting groove, small heating area, small deformation, and low operating cost.

The disadvantage: There is an angle of 0.5-1.5° between the vertical section and the hardened cut.

In Conclusion

In thin plate cutting: fiber laser cutting has more obvious advantages;

By cost: plasma cutting is much cheaper than fiber laser cutting.

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Plasma Cutting Machine VS Fiber Laser Cutting Machine:

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Fiber Laser Cutting

Advantage:

  • Narrow cutting groove, the cutting surface can be directly used for welding without grinding.
  • Fast cutting speed: The cutting speed of thin slices can reach 10m/min, which is much faster than plasma cutting.
  • Good cutting quality: small deformation, low surface roughness, low cutting edge slope.
  • High accuracy: positioning accuracy can reach 0.05mm, repositioning accuracy can reach 0.02mm

Disadvantages:

  • High cost: Both initial investment and subsequent maintenance require high costs.
  • Low efficiency: At present, fiber laser cutting of thin plates is more cost-effective. However, when cutting thick plates, the efficiency is low, so unless the quality requirements are high, it is not suitable for fiber laser cutting.

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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Plasma Cutting

Advantage:

  • In the process of cutting medium and thick plates, it can reach a very high cutting speed, much higher than laser cutting and flame cutting.
  • The initial equipment investment is lower than the laser, and the subsequent maintenance cost is much lower.

Disadvantages:

  • The verticality of the cutting surface is poor: the side of the cutting surface will have a large inclined cutting edge, and the verticality will be very poor.
  • Produce more cutting slag: Cutting slag will be generated at the bottom of the cutting surface during the cutting process. In order not to affect the quality of post-processing, this slag must be removed by grinding, which also increases labor costs.
  • Generate harmful gas and arc light: The principle of plasma cutting determines that harmful dust and arc light will be generated during the cutting process. However, underwater plasma cutting is also used to avoid this defect.
  • High cost in the later stage: More cutting nozzles are consumed in the later stage, and the cost is very high.

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The Main Difference Between Laser Cutting And Plasma Cutting

  • Compared with plasma cutting machine, laser cutting machine has higher precision.
  • The capital investment required for laser cutting machines is much higher than that of plasma cutting machines.
  • Fiber laser cutting machines are most suitable for cutting thin metal sheets and can cut all metal types
  • A plasma cutting machine is that it is suitable for cutting thick materials. It only needs to be cut without some beautiful shapes. If you need to cut some complete shapes, fiber laser cutting machines are better.

What is the best value-plasma, fiber laser?

A customer recently asked this question. It is a good question, with many possible different answers. The best “value” in the machine depends on what is most “valuable” to you! Some of the things you may value most are the cost of buying a machine, operating costs, cutting quality, cutting part accuracy, or productivity. So let’s take a quick look at some of the differences between these two cutting processes and compare their evaluation methods.

Items Plasma Cutting Machine Fiber Laser Cutting Machine
Cutting Speed Slowly (time cost is much) Fast (higher work efficient)
Cutting Precision 0.1mm 0.05mm (much better)
Principle High-temperature arc Laser energy
Material Damage There will be large or small damage, in the cutting process if the plasma cutting machine cutting head with some problems, will make very obvious defects on the plate. The high temperature will make the steel shape changing Laser cutting does not damage the steel non-contact cutting, will not scratch on the work surface
Cutting Gap Bigger cutting gap The laser beam is focused into a small spot, the cutting gap is smaller
Flexibility CNC programming causes the cutting. precision is not enough. can not cut the smaller objects perfectly. CNC programming can be processed with any cutting. patterns no need any molds
Purchasing Cost lower higher

2020 Best CNC Machine For Sale

Check out our product range: fiber laser cutting machine, plasma cutting machine

Plasma Cutting VS Fiber Laser Cutting -Which Metal Cutting Methods Are Better?

You need to consider the material to be cut and its thickness. Fiber laser cutting machine can provide higher accuracy and consistency. Plasma cutting machines have greater versatility and require lower capital investment.

Fiber laser cutting machine is usually suitable for: parts with strict tolerance requirements, these parts need to be cut with high precision or thin to medium thickness.

Plasma cutting machines are usually suitable for: highly reflective metals, thicker materials, or parts that require simple shapes.

At FORSUN, we will evaluate your cutting requirements according to the specific situation and can provide the best cutting machine recommendations for your project. Time and budget constraints will affect whether you choose our laser cutting machine or plasma cutting machine. In addition, the type of project and the required material thickness and level of detail will definitely play a role in the project you choose.

Now, I hope you have a better understanding of whether fiber laser cutting or plasma cutting is more suitable for your application. If not, please let us help you determine the correct cutting process for your part! Contact us, we will reply you within 24 hours.

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