Laser cutting machine

Although the laser cutting machine can cut many metal and non-metal materials, there are still some special materials that you’d better not to cut. Because it will produce some harmful substances after laser cutting or damage the equipment. Besides, the cutting effect is also not so good. Therefore, we should know clearly that the following materials are not suitable for laser cutting to avoid accidents.

1. PVC / Vinyl / Leather / Artificial Leather

The laser cutting machine emits pure chlorine gas when cutting materials such as PVC, artificial leather and leather. This gas is a poisonous gas with a pungent odor and is harmful to the human body. It can also damage optics and motion control systems, leading to metal corrosion of the machine. Therefore, PVC is still more suitable for cutting with traditional mechanical methods.

2. ABS

Typically, the laser beam is hot enough to vaporize many materials. But it does not support materials like ABS and HDPE. Because they tend to melt more than vaporize, leaving a messy workbench and poor quality cuts. At the same time, when laser cutting ABS, it will release cyanide gas, a colorless and toxic gas, which will lead to hypoxia and suffocation after poisoning. In addition, ABS is not easy to cut but easy to fire. Moreover, it tends to leave molten sticky deposits that are difficult to clean.

3. Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is generally a flat sheet material. A laser cutting machine can cut Polycarbonate less than 1mm. But it is easy to cause discoloration of the material. In the case of thick materials, if you continue to use the laser cutting machine to cut, it is not recommended. Because it will not only be inefficient, but also waste materials. More serious, it will produce long plumes of soot,  destroy optical systems, confuse machines, and even catch fire.

4. Fiberglass

Fiberglass is a mixture of glass and epoxy. It’s notoriously difficult to cut glass by itself. With epoxy, it’s more prone to toxic fumes. And it’s a nightmare to think about.

5. The material is backed by viscose

If these materials are glue-backed, never cut them with a laser cutter. The glue will evaporate, forming a coating on the lens. And then the coating will cover the lens, and may crack the lens when heated. Residual glue is worse than resin and will cause damage to the lens if not removed.

6. HDPE / foamed polystyrene / polypropylene foam

These three materials are very flammable. Laser cut HDPE catches fire quickly, and becomes sticky and difficult to handle after melting. While styrofoam was the most flammable material which easily cause laser fires. Droplets of melted polypropylene foam continued to burn, turning into rock-hard droplets and pebbles.

As we all know, fiber laser cutting machines cannot cut non-metallic materials like wood, MDF, acrylic, rubber, etc. In addition, it is also not recommended for long-term cutting of rare metal materials such as aluminum, copper, and brass. Because they belong to highly reflective materials. Since the wavelength of the laser is not within the ideal absorption range of these materials, the absorption effect is not good. Moreover, most of the energy is reflected back, which is easy to damage the protective lens in front of the laser head. And rhen it will also increase the consumption of consumables.