How thick can a metal laser cutting machine cut?

Over the past decade, fiber laser cutting machines have undergone significant advancements. Initially, they were primarily used for cutting metals below 20mm thickness, while thicker metals required plasma and flame cutting methods. However, with the rapid progress of fiber optic technology, we have witnessed the emergence of higher power fiber laser cutting machines, ranging from 1kW to 12kW+ and even 30kW and 60kW ultra-high power options. These cutting-edge technologies offer faster, more precise, and convenient cutting capabilities, resulting in their widespread adoption across various industries involved in solid processing. Consequently, it is essential to update our perception and understanding of laser cutting machines to fully appreciate their expanded applications and benefits.

What is a fiber laser cutting machine and how does it work?

The fiber laser cutter is a type of equipment used for cutting materials. It operates by directing a high-power laser beam onto the surface of the workpiece, causing the material to melt and evaporate, thereby achieving the desired cut. Unlike conventional mechanical knives, laser cutting employs an invisible beam of light. The laser beam, which is high in power and density, scans the material’s surface, rapidly heating it to temperatures ranging from thousands to tens of thousands of degrees Celsius. This intense heat allows for precise and efficient cutting. Laser cutting technology offers an alternative to traditional cutting methods, providing enhanced accuracy and versatility in various industries.

Fiber laser cutting machines are versatile tools used for cutting a wide range of metal materials such as stainless steel, carbon steel, alloy steel, aluminum plate, copper, and titanium. The cutting capability of the machine depends on factors like the material type, sheet thickness, and laser power.  This advanced technology allows for efficient and accurate metal cutting in various industrial applications. So, how thick can it cut?

As the power of a fiber laser cutting machine increases, it is expected to cut thicker plates. However, in practice, the actual cutting thickness may differ from the theoretical values. For example, a 1500W fiber laser cutting machine can cut a 16mm thick carbon steel plate, while a 3000W machine is expected to cut 30mm thick carbon steel but can only cut about 22mm. This is due to energy loss during the conversion of electrical energy to light energy and heat energy during operation, resulting in a deviation from the theoretical cutting thickness.

Based on Hongniulaser’s expertise and experience in laser cutting, here are the recommended cutting thicknesses for different sheet metals using fiber laser cutting machines of various powers.

The maximum cutting thickness of 1000w laser cutter : stainless steel maximum thickness 6mm;carbon steel maximum thickness12mm

The maximum cutting thickness of 1500w laser cutter : stainless steel maximum thickness 8mm;carbon steel maximum thickness16mm

The maximum cutting thickness of 3000w fiber laser cutting machine : stainless steel maximum thickness 25mm;carbon steel maximum thickness 12mm

The maximum cutting thickness of 6000w fiber laser cutting machine : stainless steel maximum thickness 20mm;carbon steel maximum thickness 25mm

The maximum cutting thickness of 12000 watt fiber laser cutting machine: stainless steel maximum thickness 50mm, carbon steel maximum thickness 50mm

The maximum cutting thickness of 20000 watt fiber laser cutting machine: stainless steel maximum thickness 70mm, carbon steel maximum thickness 70mm

The maximum cutting thickness of 30000 watt fiber laser cutting machine: stainless steel maximum thickness 90mm, carbon steel maximum thickness 80mm

The maximum cutting thickness of 50000 watt fiber laser cutting machine: stainless steel maximum thickness 120mm, carbon steel maximum thickness 100mm

Laser Power (kW) Sheet MaterialStainless SteelCarbon SteelBrass/CopperAluminum Plate
1.50.5-6mm0.5-16mm0.5-2mm0.5-5mm
20.5-8mm0.5-18mm0.5-3mm0.5-6mm
30.5-12mm0.5-20mm0.5-5mm0.5-8mm
60.5-20mm0.5-30mm0.5-12mm0.5-12mm
80.5-30mm0.5-30mm0.5-16mm0.5-30mm
100.5-40mm0.5-30mm0.5-20mm0.5-40mm
120.5-50mm0.5-50mm0.5-20mm0.5-50mm
150.5-50mm0.5-50mm0.5-20mm0.5-50mm
200.5-70mm0.5-70mm0.5-25mm0.5-60mm
300.5-90mm0.5-80mm0.5-25mm
Note: Please consider that factors such as gas purity, on-site voltage and current, plate type, and operator expertise may vary, so the provided cutting parameters are for reference purposes only.

Hongniu Laser offers a range of high-power laser cutting machines, from 1000W to 50000W, to meet diverse customer needs. These machines can cut metal sheets up to 120mm thickness. Additionally, an ultra-large-format laser cutting machine is available to accommodate different processing formats. The machines are equipped with stress-relief annealing technology, enhancing their plasticity and toughness. The extended working format allows for higher processing efficiency and increased capacity. With these advancements, customers can benefit from stronger processing capabilities at a more cost-effective price point.

The cutting thickness of a fiber laser cutting machine is not fixed and depends on various factors, including machine quality, laser source, cutting environment, speed, and gas. These factors influence its cutting ability, making it difficult to establish an absolute standard for judging cutting thickness.

By considering the aforementioned factors, you can enhance the cutting quality of your laser cutting machine and ensure optimal equipment performance. Paying attention to these points will help you achieve the best results and maintain the equipment in its prime condition.

The cutting capacity of fiber laser cutting machines is continuously evolving and not fixed. As a leading global metal processing solution provider, Hongniu Laser is dedicated to advancing laser technology through research, development, and innovation. Hongniu specializes in laser applications, offering a range of solutions from low to ultra-high laser power for cutting, welding, cleaning, bending, and 3D robot technology. If you want to learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.