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Theoretical aspects of fibre laser cutting

: Mahrle, A.; Beyer, E.


Journal of Physics. D. Applied Physics 42 (2009), No.17, Art. 175507, 9 pp.
ISSN: 0022-3727
ISSN: 1361-6463
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IWS ()

Fibre lasers offer distinct advantages over established laser systems with respect to power efficiency, beam guidance and beam quality. Consequently, the potential of these new laser beam sources will be increasingly exploited for laser cutting applications that are conventionally carried out with CO2 lasers. However, theoretical estimates of the effective absorptivity at the cut front suggest that the shorter wavelength of the fibre laser in combination with its high focusability seems to be primarily advantageous for thin sheet metal cutting whereas the CO2 laser is probably still capable of cutting thicker materials more efficiently. This surprising result is a consequence of the absorptivity behaviour of metals that shows essential quantitative differences for the corresponding wavelengths of both laser sources as a function of the angle of incidence between the laser beam and the material to be cut. In evaluation of the revealed dependences, solution strategies for an improvement of the efficiency of fibre laser cutting of thicker metal sheets are suggested.