Which materials are not suitable for laser cutting and engraving?

Non-laserable materials

The chemicals in some materials make them unsuitable for laser engraving or laser cutting, as processing these materials creates dangerous gases or dust. Examples of materials that should not be used include:

  • Leather and artificial leather containing chromium (VI)
  • Carbon fibres (Carbon)
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
  • Polyvinyl butyrate (PVB)
  • Polytetrafluoroethylenes (PTFE /Teflon)
  • Beryllium oxide
  • Any materials containing halogens (fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine and astatine), epoxy or phenolic resins

Care should be taken when using the following materials, and material testing is advised:

  • Manganese
  • Chromium
  • Nickel
  • Cobalt
  • Copper
  • Lead

Caution with the addition of “flame-retardant”

We recommend taking extreme caution when processing “flame-retardant” materials, as they often include of bromine. It is best to ask the manufacturer about the exact ingredients and material test-results before purchasing and marking any material.


“Why are these materials unsuitable for laser engraving and cutting?”

If the materials mentioned above are laser engraved or laser cut, dusts or gases may be produced that are likely to endanger the laser user and functionality of the laser machine. For this reason, we never recommend using these materials.


Protect yourself: Material testing by Trotec

If you are unsure if a material is safe to laser engrave or cut with your Trotec laser or cnc laser cutting machine, please contact us. One of our laser experts will be happy to advise you.

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