Compared with solid-state and disk lasers, fiber lasers have outstanding features such as compact structure, ruggedness, high efficiency, easy thermal management, and reliable beam quality. They are the most promising candidates for generating high average power.
Fiber lasers have the following advantages:
Lightweight and easy to install: The optical fiber is soft and can be bent, and the fiber laser can usually be small and lightweight, which reduces the purchase cost and is convenient and flexible to install.
Low maintenance cost: Affected by thermal effects such as thermal lens effect and thermally induced birefringence, the heat dissipation module of solid-state lasers needs to be carefully designed, because the fiber surface area/volume ratio of the laser medium is 4 larger than that of the bulk solid-state laser rod medium Above level, the fiber laser can be cooled by air within 100W. At the same time, fiber lasers do not require regular maintenance for several hours a month. For example, CO2 lasers require beam alignment.
High beam quality: The numerical aperture of the fiber-emitting laser is small, and the characteristics of easy focusing make it possible to achieve high power density and high-resolution processing. The high beam quality means that the fiber laser can be used in material processing, medical treatment, science and High-end manufacturing fields such as national defense.
Higher energy efficiency: Compared with YAG crystal laser, doped fiber laser can achieve broadband optical amplification, and the pump light is enclosed in the fiber, which can achieve high-efficiency pumping (light-to-light conversion efficiency of 70%; electric-to-light conversion) 30% efficiency). IPG fiber laser can reduce energy consumption by 84% compared with CO2 laser.
Strong long-term stability: Fiber lasers that do not include free space optical systems are not easily affected by dust, temperature, machinery, etc., because they have no space optical components.
Easy to achieve high-power: Since the pump modules can be connected in series and parallel, the output power can be increased through a variety of designs.
Because of its excellent beam quality, fiber lasers have been widely used in industrial fields such as cutting, marking, and welding, and are currently gradually replacing other lasers. According to statistics, since the beginning of the Sino-US trade war in 2018, the import and export of laser products has been affected to a certain extent. In 2018, the growth rate of the laser industry scale plummeted to 5.27%. As the trade war eased, the growth rate of the industry scale showed a rebound trend. The growth rate increased by 2.88 percentage points year-on-year. In 2020, affected by the global economic slowdown and the new crown epidemic, the scale of the global laser industry is expected to shrink in 2020.
China’s laser industry as a whole started late, but with the rapid development of China’s equipment manufacturing industry, it occupies about half of the global industrial laser application market, and a large number of laser equipment integrators have emerged. In 2019, China’s laser equipment sales revenue was 65.8 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 8.76% Compared with the explosive growth in 2017 and 2018, the growth rate has slowed down but still maintains the growth trend. In 2020, affected by the global economic instability of the new crown epidemic, laser equipment sales are expected to be 64.5 billion yuan in 2020, a year-on-year decline of 1.98% for the first time. The expansion of the laser equipment market has brought a lot of demand for lasers, thereby promoting the development of China’s laser industry.