Technical comparison of CO2 and fiber laser marking machines


CO2 laser marking machines vs Fiber laser marking machine

Since we’ve got an idea of what the two laser machines entail, let’s compare them so you can know which to choose.

· Lasing medium

On the one hand, CO2 lasers use a lasing medium comprising carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen, and helium to produce the laser beams. On the other hand, fiber lasers use a doped fiber optic as a lasing medium to generate the laser beam. The degree of strength of the laser beam depends on the coating process, the energy source, and how long the optical fiber is.

· The level of power consumption

A CO2 laser can accomplish around 10-15% photoelectric energy conversion. Thus, the cost of operation of the marking machine will rise. In addition, CO2 lasers require a separate cooling device to cool down the test tubes, adding to the increment in power consumption.

A fiber laser can accomplish about 35-50% power effectiveness. As a result, a 100W fiber laser machine will only require 200–250W of power. This means that fiber lasers are more efficient when compared to CO2 lasers.

· Wavelength

Their wavelengths are both in the infrared spectrum, which is invisible to the human eye.

CO2 lasers have a wavelength of about 10,600 nm. As a result, they are not advisable for marking highly reflective metal materials. On the other hand, fiber lasers have a shorter wavelength compared to CO2 lasers, which gives them the ability to mark different types of metal materials.

· Marking speeds

CO2 lasers are generally slow due to their unfocused laser beams and long wavelength. As a result, they have a higher power consumption. In comparison, fiber lasers are faster due to their shorter wavelengths. However, CO2 lasers are faster in marking thicker materials.

· System construction

Most CO2 lasers use a complicated system of mirrors and lenses to focus the laser beams. Furthermore, a CO2 test tube is also somewhat visible to the outside world. On the other hand, fiber lasers use optical fibers as their main support. Unlike CO2 lasers, it transmits the laser beams more efficient. Furthermore, the optical fibers are well-sealed, preventing exposure to the outer environment.

· Lifespan

No matter how perfect the marking machine is, it will break down with time. High-powered CO2 laser marking machines can survive for 2 years. On the other hand, fiber laser marking machines have a lifespan of 3 times longer.

· Cost of Investment

There is a big difference in the investment needed by CO2 and fiber lasers. CO2 lasers are cheaper than fiber lasers, but it will need CO2 laser tube as consumables.

Fiber Laser is no consumables but machine price is a little higher than CO2 laser.

· Materials they can work on

CO2 lasers can mark organic materials like wood, plastics, polyester films, matte boards, etc. On the other hand, fiber lasers can mark many materials, most of which are metals such as nickel, gold, and silver.

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