Laser Light: It travels at 299.792.458 meters per sec. Its visible spectrum ranges from 400 to 700 nanometers. Its smallest unit is a packet of energy, a photon. It is light, and its use is growing in tube and pipe production and fabrication facilities throughout the world.
In most of its natural and artificial forms, light has little power. However, a groundbreaking invention in the latter half of the 1950s increased its power and concentrated it in a small area.
Thus was born a modern and revolutionary concept:
Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, or laser.
Fiber lasers are "the" recognized powerhouse in the manufacturing sector of numerous industries because of the throughput, reliability, and low cost of operation they make possible for machines that cut, weld, mark, and micromachine materials. Specific design elements distinguish fiber lasers among other industrial laser sources, and their unique attributes are enabling breakthrough manufacturing process capabilities. Specifically, high-power single-mode lasers for remote welding and widely flexible pulsed fiber lasers for cutting can address different process challenges by the full electronic control of all operating parameters.
The fiber laser is exceptional efficient at converting relatively low-brightness pump light from laser diodes into high-brightness output, where the output beam quality is often the only spatial mode allowed by the physics of the fiber design. Even though fiber lasers were capable of very high (100 W) output as early as the 1990s, it took the crash of the fiber communications market in 2001 to enable the commercial development of reliable fiber lasers. During the 1990s, companies spent billions of dollars solving the basic problems of coupling diodes to fibers with high reliability, splicing fibers with high power density, qualifying component technologies to meet the 25-year reliability required by undersea communications, and reducing the cost of these high-performance, high-reliability components.
Then, in the early 2000's, with the communications market all but gone, the technology investment was quickly redirected and tuned for use in the design of industrial fiber lasers.
Fiber lasers are unique among all other industrial laser types because of two attributes:
a sealed optical cavity and a single-mode, guided-wave medium.
Modern fiber lasers, by design, have a fully sealed optical path that is immune to environmental contamination and remains optically aligned without need for adjustment. All internal components are either in-fiber or hermetically fiber-coupled, and the only free-space interfaces occur at the beam delivery optic, which includes a fused beam spreader to reduce the intensity at the first free-space interface. The active optical path is typically within a fiber waveguide that allows only one spatial mode of propagation (currently up to about 50 kW of optical power). Higher-power fiber lasers combine single-mode modules into high-brightness delivery fiber in fused fiber combiners.
The combination of the single-mode waveguiding and the fully sealed optical cavity provides a robust laser design that is fixed and measured at the time of manufacture and has minimal variation over time and temperature. Sealed pump diodes and nondarkening fiber technology result in lasers that can be used continuously in production for years without adjustment or degradation.
1. When compared to CO2 laser beam, it provides simplified beam delivery using fiber-optic cables without having to deal with alignment of mirrors.
2. It is absorbed more by metals, especially good conductors, and is less absorbed by plasma vapours formed above the weld pool.
3. Fiber lasers give increased power intensity owing to its ability to be focussed to smaller sizes.
4. Light can be easily transferred to a movable workpiece because it is already present in a flexible fibre. This fact is extremely useful for laser cutting and welding.
5. Optical fibers can be several kilometers long, hence fiber lasers are capable of providing extremely high power output.
6. Large surface area to volume ratio accounts for continuous power output due to efficient cooling.
7. Fiber lasers are very stable with respect to temperature and vibrations. Fibers protects the optical path from thermal distortion.
8. Better beam quality also give cleaner welds.
9. They have very low ownership and maintenance costs and also use low electricity. These factors allow deeper penetration and faster welding speeds in comparison to other welding processes