Metal laser cutting: what is the maximum thickness?

One of the most frequently asked questions about laser systems is the maximum thickness that laser cutting can reach on metal. Laser metal cutting is in fact an innovative and high-tech solution for many needs of the sheet metal sector. Thanks to the adoption of laser systems it is possible to optimise production by reducing time, costs and energy consumption and adhering to the guidelines of industry 4.0. The considerable advantages of laser cutting on sheet metal have found many applications, from the mechanical industry to carpentry, from automotive to the production of household appliances. But what is the maximum thickness limit that the laser can cut and what power must it have for cutting metal?

What power should a laser have for cutting metals?

The power of laser cutting is an essential parameter when it comes to buying a metal cutting machine. The power level affects the energy of the laser head, determining both the quality of the processing and the time required to carry it out. High-power laser systems therefore make it possible to obtain better quality and reduce production times. In general, in the sheet metal sector, the power of laser machines does not fall below 500W for reduced thicknesses. More frequently, cutting powers from 3 kW to 20 kW are adopted according to production needs and the advantages to be obtained. At the moment there are fiber laser cutting technologies of sheet metal also at 40kW, introduced in Italy and Europe by Cutlite Penta.

Laser for metal cutting: which is the best one based on the thickness

When it comes to laser cutting of metal, it is always necessary to distinguish between the different types of laser systems available: the CO2 laser and the fiber laser. Choosing the right system is essential for achieving the best performance in the company. Fiber laser cutting is a newer technology that has many advantages, including improved speed and cutting quality performance, reduced energy consumption, lower maintenance costs and greater sustainability.

Fiber laser cutting on thick metals: now it’s a reality

With the introduction of fiber laser systems with 30 kW of power, this technology has greatly extended its applications. However, to cut thick sheet metal with high quality, the power is not sufficient if the laser system does not guarantee adequate control. Currently, the Cutlite Penta systems are the only ones equipped with an EVO3 cutting head capable of effectively supporting laser cuts on metal with power at 30kW. The result is impeccable cuts even on high thicknesses, which reach 50mm. Here are some examples of the cutting speeds that can be achieved with this technology based on thickness:
  • 15 mm stainless steel: 7.5 m/min
  • 20 mm stainless steel: 6 m/min
  • 20 mm Hardox®: 5 m/min
  • 50 mm stainless steel: 160 mm/min
  • 50 mm carbon steel: 800 mm/min

What are the advantages of Cutlite Penta laser cutting for high thicknesses?

The advantage of the processing quality of Cutlite Penta systems combined with the high power for cutting on high thicknesses is due to the company’s proprietary technology. The EVO3 cutting head has been designed in-house and offers superior performance to the competition. Among the other advantages of the Cutlite fiber laser systems:
  • Maximum power and speed performance
  • Improved cutting quality
  • Linear motors on every laser system
  • High precision in every application
  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Customised configurations
  • Technology and components Made in Italy
  • Dedicated customer assistance

On the website, discover the ideal fiber laser system for your company for cutting on high thicknesses.


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