What materials are not suitable for laser cutting and engraving?

Non-Laserable Materials

Some materials contain chemicals that are unsuitable for laser engraving or laser cutting. Processing these materials can create dangerous gases or dust. Examples of materials that should never 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”

Be sure to take extreme care when processing 'flame-retardant' materials, as they usually contain bromine. It is always best to ask the manufacturer about all the ingredients and material test-results prior to purchasing and processing any material. 


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

If any of these materials are laser engraved or laser cut, harmful dusts and gases may be produced that can damage your machine and even endanger yourself. Therefore, 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.

Contact Us