JK Lasers, Rugby, UK, has released a 2 kW fiber laser (1080 nm wavelength) for cutting and welding sheet metal, as an alternative to CO2 and Nd:YAG laser sources in applications including automotive (e.g. tailored blank welding, component welding, remote welding and hydroformed tube cutting) and aerospace (titanium welding of aircraft skins and structures, and laser cladding). A 1 kW version of the high-power fiber laser was introduced last fall.
The JK2000FL can be used with different diameter processing fibers (100-300 μm) for laser cutting and welding sheet metal, can cut 15 mm-thick low carbon steel (LCS), 6 mm aluminum alloys, and 10 mm stainless steel (304SS). It can also weld 8 mm LCS and 304SS. Output power stability is ± 2%,. The system is up to 10 times more energy efficient than Nd:YAG lasers, with wall-plug efficiency of over 25%. Mean time-to-failure (MTTF) is over 300,000 hours for the individual laser pump sources.
The JK2000FL is fitted the company's detachable 'plug in, pre-aligned' (PIPA) beam delivery fibers which incorporate patented back-reflection protection to protect the laser when processing highly reflective materials such as aluminum, copper, brass, and titanium. It also can be fitted with the company's modular range of bespoke process tools. An optional timeshare unit can simultaneously connect up to four separate workstations.