What is the limit to the thickness of metals cut by a fibre laser machine?

When a production manager in the metallurgical sector is looking to purchase a fibre laser machine, one of the main questions to be answered is the limit of the thickness of the metals that this equipment can cut.

And it makes perfect sense, because determining the maximum thickness you are allowed to process according to the metal you work with most frequently will allow you to exclude models of cutting machines that are not sufficiently suitable for your business.

In that decision process, you need to consider the following: the sheets to be cut and which feed gas will be used. When cutting carbon steel, if you want to cut thicker thicknesses then high power will be essential, with a large nitrogen (N2) saving and up to four times the cutting speed. 

Having said that, this article intends to help sheet metal cutting companies understand the limit of the metals that a fibre laser machine will cut, so that the process of choosing a new cutting machine will be easier.

Before choosing the right laser cutting machine, the production manager must ensure that he has defined the percentage of thickness and material he has to process, taking into account the total volume of cutting tasks to be executed in his process. In fact, this is the final stage in the selection of a new machine.

Productivity is calculated as a function of the quality of cut required and the speed at which it is provided. For this, the following must be taken into account:

  • The type of material being processed.

  • Thickness of workpieces.

  • Power of the chosen cutting machine.

There are tables with the different types of thickness and materials that a machine can cut, which can be supplied by a JOSEP MUNTAL advisor, in which the values of the cutting speed are indicated, taking into account the power of the laser machine to be installed in the workshop.

Why take into consideration the capacities of the machine? Because when it comes to sheet metal cutting, many companies generally execute their cuts at low speeds, characterised by poor cutting quality and high production costs.

For example, with an installation power of 3 kW, the cutting speed of carbon steel can be realised with:

  • A workpiece thickness of 1 mm of inox. - (35.0-50 .0) m / min

  • A workpiece thickness of 3 mm of inox. - (7.0-11.0) m / min

  • A workpiece thickness of 8 mm stainless steel (1.2-1.8 mm) m / min

In conclusion, fibre laser machines have cutting limits depending on the thickness and the material to be cut. However, the best decision that a production manager of sheet metal cutting companies can make is to request a technical study without obligation, which will allow him to know which technology your process needs, the ideal power, improve the service to your customers and resolve any doubts about your current machinery.

At Josep Muntal we help companies that manufacture metal parts to increase production, providing advice on choosing the right laser cutting machine depending on the type of material you want to cut.