Vest Profiling is a leading fabrication company in Klipriver, providing laser cutting to ensure high-precision results.
Laser cutting can be done on various materials. However, some materials should never be laser cut.
All metals are suitable for laser cutting, including mild steel, stainless steel, and non-ferrous metals. The maximum thickness is determined by the company that does the laser cutting based on the laser’s power and the machine operator’s skill. However, more reflective metals like aluminium are more challenging to cut.
While laser cutting is possible with various woods, including plywood and MDF, oils and resins can catch fire, so the operator needs to be cautious. Laser cutting can also be done on paper and cardboard, and plastics like acrylic, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polymethyl methacrylate (Lucite), and polyoxymethylene (POM).
Laser cutting glass is extremely difficult, but it is possible by a skilled operator equipped with the proper tools can ensure a smooth finish.
Some materials should never be laser cut, mostly specific types of plastics.
Cutting polyvinyl chloride (PVC) produces toxic fumes and acids that are hazardous to the operator and the laser cutting machine. Polycarbonate thinner than 1 mm can be cut, but laser cutting generally results in discoloured patches due to the polycarbonate absorbing the infrared radiation. Unfortunately, it may also cause the material to catch fire.
In addition, materials like acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) do not vaporise during laser cutting. Instead, it melts, resulting in an untidy cut. Furthermore, polystyrene and polypropylene foam both ignite quickly.
Finally, laser cutting is not recommended for fibreglass because it is a combination of glass and epoxy resin. Aside from the difficulty of cutting glass, the resin will emit harmful fumes when heated.
Laser cutting experts
Vest Profiling is a laser cutting specialist. Our highly skilled team will consult with you on standard or custom designs as well as the material of your choice. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist you.