When switching from CO2 to fiber laser cutting, or when upgrading to a higher wattage laser, it is important to evaluate your current dust collection system and determine whether it is up to the job. Typically, when upgrading to a new laser, the manufacturer will also recommend or require that you purchase a new dust collector. We recommend that you listen to their advice and follow it. In most cases, a more powerful dust collection system will be required.
There are a few considerations to keep in mind when evaluating a dust collector for fiber laser cutting.
- CFM: Dust collectors are rated by CFM (cubic feet per minute). This is the volume of air they are able to move per minute. The higher the CFM of your collector, the more air it will move, and the more filter media you will need.
- Filter media: Make sure you have enough filter media to collect the volume of dust you are producing each minute. The ratio of CFM to filter media (measured in square feet) is known as the air-to-cloth ratio. Applications that produce high volumes of dust, like fiber laser cutting, require more filter media per CFM (or a lower air-to-cloth ratio).
- Pulsing: Dust collector filters are periodically pulsed with short, intense bursts of air to blow off excess dust, which is collected in a bin or tray. This extends the life of the filter media. Without pulsing, the filter rapidly becomes clogged, which prevents the dust collector from doing its job. As we explained above, the tiny, jagged, fast-moving particulates produced by fiber laser cutting are especially prone to becoming deeply embedded in the filter media, making them resistant to pulsing. Keeping your filters clean may require more frequent pulsing or a more aggressive pulsing system that is able to dislodge particulates from the media more effectively.
RoboVent has designed a dust collection system specifically for fiber laser cutting of metals. Senturion is a powerful laser dust collector with a pulsing system that reduces clogging of the filters with fiber dust. Senturion comes in a range of sizes for all kinds of fiber laser cutting applications. An experienced RoboVent air quality engineer can help you evaluate your processes and determine the right size collector for your facility.