Blog

Fiber Laser: Everything You Wanted to Know

fiber laser wleding machine

Table of Contents

Fiber lasers are all over the modern globe. As a result of the different wavelengths they can generate, they are commonly used in industrial environments to carry out cutting, marking, welding, cleaning, texturing, drilling, and also a whole lot much more. They’re also employed in some other fields, including telecommunications and medical.

Fiber lasers employ a silica glass optical fiber wire to guide light. The resulting laser beam is extra specific than other lasers because it is straighter and smaller sized. They also have little impact, excellent electric effectiveness, low upkeep, and low operating expense.

What Are the Types of Fiber Lasers?

Typically speaking, fiber lasers can be categorized using the following criteria.

  • Laser source: Fiber lasers differ according to the product with which the laser source is combined. Some instances include ytterbium-doped fiber lasers, thulium-doped fiber lasers, and erbium-doped fiber lasers. These sorts of lasers are used for different applications since they generate different wavelengths.
  • Mode of operation: Different lasers launch laser beams in different ways. To achieve high-peak powers, laser beams can be pulsed at a specified rep rate (pulsed fiber lasers), or they can be “q-switched”, “gain-switched”, or “mode-locked”. Or, they can be continual, indicating that they continually send out the same amount of power (continuous-wave fiber lasers).
  • Laser power: Laser power is revealed in watts and represents the typical power of the laser beam. As an example, you can have a 20W fiber laser, a 50W fiber laser, and more. High-power lasers create more power much faster than low-power lasers.
  • Mode: The model describes the size of the core (where light trips) in the optical fiber. There are 2 sorts of settings: single-mode fiber lasers and multi-mode fiber lasers. The core size for single-mode lasers is smaller sized, commonly in between 8 and 9 micrometers, whereas it is bigger for multi-mode lasers, usually between 50 and 100 micrometers. As a basic regulation, single-mode lasers convey laser light more successfully and have a much better high-quality beam.

Fiber lasers can be classified in numerous other methods, yet the categories pointed out here are the most common. Adhere to these links if you intend to see examples of fiber lasers integrated into items.

Picture1
3D Fiber Laser Cutting Machine

What’s the Difference In Between Fiber Lasers As Well As CO2 Lasers?

The major distinction between fiber and CO2 lasers is the source where the laser beam is produced. The laser source is silica glass combined with a rare-earth element in fiber lasers. The laser source in CO2 lasers is a combination of gases containing CO2.

As a result of the state of their source, fiber lasers are considered solid-state lasers, and CO2 lasers are thought of as gas-state lasers.

These laser sources likewise generate various wavelengths. Fiber lasers, for example, produce shorter wavelengths, ranging from 780 nm to 2200 nm in some cases. Longer wavelengths are produced using CO2 lasers, which typically range between 9,600 and 10,600 nm.

They are utilized for different applications as a result of their various wavelengths. For example, 1064 nm fiber lasers are generally preferred for metal processing applications. Laser cutting is a notable exemption, where CO2 lasers are usually chosen to cut metals. CO2 lasers additionally respond well with organic materials.

What is a Fiber Laser Machine?

A fiber laser machine is created when a fiber laser system is engineered directly into a solution that is ready to use. The OEM laser system is the tool that executes the operation, and the laser machine is the framework into which it is placed.

Laser machines can make certain that:

  • Workers are 100% safe by supplying laser safety and fume removal.
  • Mechanical elements are consisted of automating operations or facilitating the driver’s work.
  • The laser process is fine-tuned for a certain operation.

For example, the fiber laser machine shown below consists of a rotating table, a rotating indexer, a Class-1 laser safety and security enclosure, a fume extractor, a vision camera, and also an HMI.

Adhere to these links if you want to see more instances of fiber laser machines:

For How Long Does a Fiber Laser Last?

According to most internet sources, Fiber lasers last 100,000 hours, while CO2 lasers last 30,000 hours. This isn’t fully accurate. These figures represent a “mean time between failures” (MTBF) value, which varies depending on the fiber laser. In reality, different numbers will be used for different fiber lasers.

The MTBF gauges the reliability of a laser by suggesting the number of hours the laser is anticipated to operate before a failure occurs. It is obtained by evaluating numerous laser units and afterward separating the complete variety of operational hours by the overall number of failures.

Although this value does not precisely tell you how long a fiber laser can last, it still gives a good suggestion of the laser’s integrity.

If you truly wish to know the exact life expectancy of a fiber laser, you’ll be let down as there’s no real answer. In truth, fiber lasers have crucial points in their life when they can stop working.

Below’s what you require to know if your laser experiences failings at any of these minutes:

  • Early life: If a fiber laser has construction mistakes, it will likely have failures early on. To ensure that the laser can be changed at no cost, ensure you have an acquisition assurance that covers manufacturing defects.
  • Typical life: Once you’ve passed the first critical period of very early life, the MTBF value gives you a great concept of your laser’s opportunities of failing. A high MTBF is a great assurance that everything will certainly go smoothly, however not a warranty. You can get ready for failings throughout the typical life in different methods: have a spare laser readily available, lease a laser. At the same time, your own is fixed or has a long-term acquisition assurance.
  • End of life: As fiber lasers approach their end of life, the chances of failure increase dramatically. Also, after that, a top-quality commercial laser can commonly run the method past its MTBF.

Exactly How Does a Fiber Laser Work (As Well As What Are Its Components)?

Fiber lasers make use of pump light from what are called laser diodes. These diodes emit light that is sent out right into the fiber-optic wire. Optical elements situated in the wire are used to generate a certain wavelength and intensify it. Ultimately, the resulting laser beam is formed as well as launched.

Below’s how each part is used to perform this operation.

Step 1. Light is Developed in the Laser Diodes

Laser diodes change power right into photons – or light – to be pumped right into the fiber-optic wire. Therefore, they are also called the “pump source”.

To create light, diodes utilize 2 semiconductors billed in different ways:

  • The very first one is billed favorably, which implies that it requires an added electron.
  • The second one is charged negatively, implying it has an additional electron or a free electron.

When the positive, as well as unfavorable costs, meet, they attempt to integrate. However, the complimentary electron needs to be launched as a photon to do so. As existing circulations with the semiconductors, the quantity of photons promptly increases.

The generated light is pushed into a fiber-optic cable television system, which will be used to generate a laser beam.

Step 2. Pump Light is Assisted in the Fiber-Optic Cord

Light enters from all sides in nature. Fiber-optic cables use two basic pieces to focus light into a single direction and produce a laser beam: the fiber core and the cladding.

  • The core is where light travels. It is constructed from silica glass and is the only part of the cable television consisting of a rare-earth element.
  • The material that surrounds the core is known as cladding. Light bounces back into the core when it meets the cladding. This happens because the cladding offers a complete internal reflection.

Overall inner reflection happens since the cladding has a lower refractive index than the core. You can see similar results in nature. For instance, if you look at submerged items, they show warped. Light encounters a shift in refractive index as it travels from air to water, forcing it to realign itself. The redirection of light from the core to the cladding creates a reflection.; otherwise, the reverse reflects.

Without the cladding, the light would enter all directions and leave the core. However, thanks to the cladding’s refractive index, the light stays in the core as well as continues its course.

To envision how light journeys in fiber cables, you can enjoy this video:

Step 3. Light is Amplified in the Laser Tooth Cavity

As pump light trips via the fiber-optic cord, it at some point enters the laser dental caries– a small region of the wire where only light of a specific wavelength is generated. Physical designers claim that the fiber is “doped” in this area since mixed with a rare-earth element.

fiber laser

As fragments from the doped fiber engage with light, their electrons rise to a greater power level. When they fall back to their fundamental state, they launch power in the form of photons of light. Physical designers refer to these sensations as “electron excitation” as well as “electron relaxation”.

The laser cavity also serves as a resonator where the light gets better and forth in between what is called “fiber Bragg gratings”. This leads to “Light Boosting by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation”, or LASER. Put; this is where the laser beam is formed.

There are two types of Bragg gratings:

  • The initiative serves as a mirror, mirroring light back right into dental caries.
  • The 2nd serves as a selective mirror, permitting some light to leave the cavity but reflecting the remainder into dental caries.

Here’s how amplification happens: when photons strike other ecstatic fragments, these particles also launch photons; because the Bragg gratings mirror photons back right into dental caries, and even more pump light is sent right into the tooth cavity, a rapid number of photons are released.

As a result of this boosted radiation exhaust, laser light is created.

Step 4. Laser Light of a Certain Wavelength is Produced

The wavelength produced by the doped fiber differs according to the doping component of the laser dental caries. This is important, as different wavelengths are used for various applications. The doping component could be erbium, ytterbium, neodymium, thulium, and so forth. Ytterbium-doped fiber lasers, for example, create a wavelength of 1064 nm and are also used for applications like laser marking and laser cleaning.

Because individual particles produce detailed photons, different doping elements generate different wavelengths. As a result, the wavelength of photons produced in the laser cavity is the same. This discusses why each fiber laser produces a detailed wavelength– and only that wavelength.

Step 5. The Laser Beam is Shaped and also Released.

Photons leaving the resonant cavity produce an incredibly highly collimated laser beam thanks to the light guiding features in the fiber (or straight). It is also parallelled for most laser applications.

To offer the laser beam a desirable form, various components can be used, such as lenses and beam expanders. For example, our fiber lasers are geared up with a 254 mm focal size lens for laser applications that go into the product (i.e., laser engraving and laser texturing). This is since their brief focal size permits us to focus even more energy onto a location for an extra aggressive form of laser ablation.

Other types of lenses offer different advantages, which is why experts choose them very carefully when maximizing a laser for a certain application.

What Are the Laser Parameters?

Not all lasers and laser applications utilize the same criteria. For example, different ones require adjusting for laser cutting and laser marking. Some parameters, nevertheless, are made use of for all kinds of fiber lasers. Below are the ones you are probably to experience.

Wavelength

Fiber Laser Wavelength
IMAGE COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF REQUIREMENTS AND MODERN TECHNOLOGY

The wavelength created by a fiber laser corresponds to the degree of electromagnetic radiation of the laser light. Typically, fiber lasers create wavelengths between 780 nm and 2200 nm, which lies in the infrared range and is undetectable to the human eye. This variety of infrared light often tends to respond well with metals, rubber, and plastics, making it helpful for various materials processing applications.

Green fiber lasers, for example, produce visible light that reacts well with soft materials like gold, copper, silicone, and soft glass. Green fiber lasers are also employed in holography, therapy, and surgery, to name a few applications.

Mode of Operation

The modus operandi is the method by which the laser beam is launched. Fiber lasers typically operate in the continuous wave or the pulsed setting.

In the continuous-wave operation mode, a constant, undisturbed laser beam is released, which is ideal for applications like laser welding and laser cutting.

Short pulses are launched at a set rep rate in the pulsed operation mode. Pulsed laser beams reach greater peak powers and are optimal for laser engraving and laser cleaning. This set includes the following criteria.

  • Pulse Energy: The pulse power is the variety of millijoules in each pulse. Normally, each pulse consists of 1 mJ of power.
  • Pulse Period: The pulse duration, also referred to as pulse length and pulse width, is the duration of each pulse. Much shorter pulses focus the same energy in a much shorter time and thus get to greater peak powers. The pulse duration can be shared in split seconds, nanoseconds, picoseconds, or femtoseconds.
  • Repeating Rate: The number of pulses released every second is known as the pulse rep rate. It’s also called the pulse frequency, measured in kHz. 100,000 pulses per second are equal to 100 kHz.

Power

Laser power is the quantity of energy produced by the laser over one second. It is likewise referred to as “typical power” and “outcome power”.

Pulsed lasers might also suggest a peak power, a various parameter. The peak power is the optimum quantity of power gotten by a single pulse. For instance, a 100W pulsed fiber laser can easily get to 10,000 W of peak power. This is because pulsed lasers do not disperse energy equally with time compared to continuous-wave lasers.

Beam Quality 

The beam top quality indicates exactly how close the beam is to a Gaussian beam. In actual applications, this matters because it suggests just how well focused the laser beam is.

Mathematically Talking, a perfect beam top quality is revealed as M2= 1. Laser beams that are well-focused concentrate much more power in a smaller-sized location. Top-quality laser beams are required for applications like laser engraving and laser cleaning. In contrast, lower beam top qualities might be more appropriate for applications where ablation is not preferred, such as laser welding.

MORE POSTS
Laser Welding Tips

Laser welding tips: Laser welding is a precise and efficient method for joining materials, particularly when dealing with thicker plates....

what is a 3in1 laser welder?

What is a 3-in-1 Laser Welder? A 3in1 laser welder is a state-of-the-art welding device that combines three essential processes...

Laser Tyre Mold Cleaning

Introduction to Laser Clean Tyre Mold Tire molds play a crucial role in the production of high-quality tires. However, over...

Shield Gas in Laser Welding

Laser Welding Gas In laser welding, shielding gas is utilized to enhance the welding process and prevent deposits on the...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seventeen − 15 =

Hi, I am the author of the website and also a laser equipment engineer, if you have any questions about industrial lasers, please contact me by clicking the link below

Skip to content