Which materials are not suitable for laser cutting and engraving?

Materials you should not process with a laser

There are some materials you should not engrave or cut with a laser becuase of their chemical make-up. Processing these materials creates dangerous gases or dust. These materials include:

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

Care should be taken with the following materials:

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

Caution with the addition of "flame-retardant"

Be especially careful when processing "flame-retardant" materials because they often include of bromine. For flame-retardant materials, it is best to ask the manufacturer about the exact ingredients.


Why are these materials unsuitable for laser engraving and cutting?

If the aforementioned materials are laser engraved or laser cut, dusts or gases may be produced that endanger the laser user or the functionality of the laser machine. For this reason, we do not recommend using these materials.


Protect yourself: Material testing by Trotec

Are you unsure whether a particular material is suitable for laser cutting or laser engraving? Contact us, we would be happy to advise you.

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