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17 December 2019

What can be cut with a CO2 laser? - application overview

Strona główna » Knowlage Base » What can be cut with a CO2 laser? - application overview

CO2 lasers differ from fiber lasers in the wavelength of light, which significantly increases the range of materials that can be processed with it.

The most popular materials are: wood, plastics such as PMMA (plexiglass), fabrics, rubber, stone, glass as well as steel and coated non-ferrous metals.

  • Once the most popular co2 lasers used the power in the kilowatt range and were mainly used for cutting out thick sheet metal.
    With time, small office lasers with a power of 40-80W were produced, mainly used as engraving machines.
  • Now the most popular models have a power of 100-150W, and in addition to the possibility of engraving like models with lower power, they can cut quite thick materials 15-20mm (50mm) and steel up to a thickness of 2mm.

Cutting thick materials results in a loss of accuracy due to the need to use lenses with a longer focal length. For example, for a material with a thickness of up to 3mm, you can use a lens with a focal length of 1.5 "and we will get an accuracy of 0.08mm, while for a material with a thickness of 15mm we will use a lens with a focal length of 4" and the accuracy will drop to 0.35mm.

The materials that can be processed with a CO2 laser are divided into two categories:

  1. Materials that we can cut:
  • all kinds of plastic! however, it should be remembered that many of these materials generate poisonous vapors and gases (such as the popular polycarbonates, PVC). The harmfulness of a given material can very much depend on its color - the ingredients of the dye used in its production!
  • wood and its derivatives (the quality of the cut, the maximum thickness very much depends on the type of wood, its dryness, or the glue used)
  • gum
  • fabrics
  • skin
  • foils
  • steel
  • non-ferrous metals only in the form of a thin foil.

2. Materials that can be engraved:

  • all types of plastics (subject to harmfulness as when cutting)
  • wood and its derivatives (you can get the effect of a relief with a variable depth of engraving)
  • glass
  • stone
  • skin
  • gum
  • steel
  • only coated non-ferrous metals (e.g. anodized aluminum).
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