May 13, 2008
Okay, you’ve decided to go for either an Nd:YAG or Fiber laser for direct metal marking, what are the differences? The Nd:YAG uses a lamp or a diode pack (array) to excite the gain medium – these require more electrical power and wear out (and can be very costly to replace). They also produce a lot of heat and require more heat dissipation (some water cooled – some use heat-sinks and thermo-electric cooling systems). The fiber lasers use many single emitter diodes that are cheaper to run, and will last the lifetime of the fiber. The mean time before failure is greater than 50,000hrs. The fiber laser is more stable at all power levels. The light source with a fiber is completely sealed all the way to the marking head. This prevents dust and particle contamination and enables longer working distances between the control unit and marking head. It also reduces any leakage and therefore increases the efficiency of the laser beam. The fiber laser “boots up” a lot quicker. The fiber laser has less replacement parts (such as resonator mirrors, crystals, fluids and filters).
Preface: Although CheckMate Lasers has a YAG and Fiber laser systems, unless a customer has a strong and specific reason to go with YAG we suggest the Fiber laser, even the higher wattage Fiber is comparable in price to our YAG systems. In our professional opinion for metal marking applications we would highly recommend the LMM Fiber laser as it is less expensive, air cooled, requires less maintenance, requires less power, last much longer and is simply a more efficience operation for metal marking.
Review the following table for a direct comparison of the primary features.
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