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7 Things Never to Cut With a Laser Cutter

Laser cutting is a fantastic technology that uses a laser beam to cut different things. It is an effortless way of cutting sturdy materials with no hassle. But it does not mean that you cut any object using the laser beam. Certain materials are dangerous when it comes to contact with the laser. Therefore, you need to be very careful while picking any object for cutting.

It is necessary to check its material and know whether you can use the laser on it or not. The following write-up will discuss various things you should never cut with the laser cutter. You can find these materials easily anywhere, but it is not dangerous if you are using them.

The heat level of a laser is relatively high, and when it is used to cut dangerous materials, it can release harmful chemicals. It can make the air you breathe poisonous. Let us check out those materials and keep everyone safe.

1. HDPE

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It is a thermoplastic polymer material commonly used to manufacture milk bottles, shampoo, bleaching solutions, piping, etc. The main ingredient for manufacturing this polythene is petroleum, which is quite explosive.

You cannot treat them with high temperatures as they can release toxic fumes that can also pollute the air. If you are using laser cutting technology, you must avoid it. Initially, it can also cause a mess that is hard to clear or treat. Instead, you can cut acrylic material that looks like HDPE, but it should look smooth and have a neat finish.

2. PVC

It is commonly used in plumbing, and many people also know about it. This material contains chloride, which is again harmful if you use a laser beam to cut. When it comes in contact with the beam, it releases chlorine gas, which can cause allergies in humans.

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It can cause breath shortness, damage to the lungs, coughing, and other serious breathing issues. In severe cases, one can also suffer from optics issues and the cutter’s motion control system. If you want to cut PVC desperately, you must use an electric saw to do your task effortlessly.

3. Polycarbonate

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You might have heard other names for polycarbonate, i.e., Lexan or Plexiglass. This durable material is perfect for manufacturing helmets, bulletproof windows, windshields, etc. It is not easy to break because it is hard and highly durable. Due to its high impact resistance, it is pretty better than standard glass. It can easily withstand acids, high temperatures, gasoline, etc.

But you cannot use a laser to make pieces of this material. The temperature of the laser beam is exceptionally high, and it can release various harmful chemicals and radiation. It can absorb infrared radiation rapidly, and you cannot light-frequency beam over it. If there is no other solution, you can make the edges black using laser technology. Laser cutting services can help you correctly use the beam on this material.

4. ABS

It is another thermoplastic variation that is highly durable and impact-resistant. It is commonly used to manufacture various things like headgear, computer components, etc. You can easily melt this plastic and mold it in a different shape.

Therefore, it is used in 3D printing and molding processes. But you cannot use laser technology to cut this material because of the high temperature. If you use a laser beam, it can melt this plastic, and it will start vaporizing.

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You can also get messy deposits that are pretty hard to eliminate. Another dangerous thing about ABS is that it is a flammable material, and it can release hydrogen cyanide. It is a dangerous agent that can cause cancer and is commonly found in cigarettes. Instead, you can use another technology for cutting this material.

5. Fiberglass

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Many people have heard of fiberglass, which is used for building communication or network lines. It is a combination of two things that makes it unsuitable to use a laser beam for cutting. The two main ingredients are epoxy resin and glass.

The epoxy resin will start releasing harmful fumes when you use the laser on this material. It can pollute the air, and it can make you sick. It is better to find another way of cutting this material that is not harmful to the environment. You can find it everywhere, but make sure you avoid experimenting with the high-temperature beam.

6. Carbon Fiber with Coating

You can cut carbon fiber with a laser beam, but if it is coated, you cannot think of doing so. Generally, fraying is done, which is quite dangerous if treated in high temperatures. If you attempt to cut it, fumes will be released, and it will be hard for you to breathe.

Therefore, you should always check whether there is any coating or fraying done on the carbon fiber or not. If you find it, make sure you separate it and find another alternative to do the job.

7. Polystyrene Foam

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It is possible to cut thin pieces of this material, but you cannot prefer using a laser beam to do so. It can easily catch fire or melt badly. It is hard to handle the mess. Many people do not know about harmful reactions if laser beam cutting technology is used.

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High temperatures can cause fire, so you should find another alternative to cut this material. You should always be careful handling this material as it can react quickly.

Final Thoughts

If you are using laser cutting technology, make sure that you never use all the mentioned materials with it. The high temperature of the beam can react with various materials differently. Many people think of using this technology because it can effortlessly do the job. But it can be dangerous for one’s health.

Therefore, you must know about different materials you cannot cut with this technology. It is necessary to be careful while handling these materials because they are highly flammable and reactive. Knowing the right temperature, technique, and technology to cut the mentioned things is essential.

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Written by Lana Vrz