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Material Compatibility for CO2 and Fiber Laser Engravers

What materials can I mark or cut with my laser engraver?

Date updated: 10/22/2023
Categories: General Questions
Key Words: Materials | SDS | PVC | Safety
This article documents compatible materials and those to avoid when marking or cutting using CO2 and fiber laser engravers.
CO2 and fiber lasers can mark and interact with many materials. Below is a list of many, but not all compatible materials. When researching a potentially compatible material, it is important to obtain the safety data sheet of the material.

A safety data sheet (SDS), also known as a material safety data sheet (MSDS), is a document that provides detailed information about the potential hazards and safety precautions associated with a particular chemical substance or product. In the context of laser engraving, safety data sheets are important as they provide crucial information about the chemicals and materials used in the material making process. Since laser engraving involves the use of lasers to etch or mark surfaces, materials may emit fumes, particles, or vapors when exposed to the laser beam. Due to this, certain materials may pose a potential risk to health and safety of the engraver operator as well as potential damage to the engraver.

Materials containing the any of the following substances should be avoided to limit potentially harmful effects to the engraver operator and the engraver:

 
  • Hydrogen Chloride
  • Vinyl Chloride
  • Halogens (chlorine, fluorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine)
  • Artificial leather containing chromium 
  • Epoxy
  • Phenolic resins

 

 

CO2 Material Compatibility Fiber Material Compatibility
MaterialEngraveCut MaterialEngrave
AcrylicXX 17-4 PH Stainless SteelX
Anodized AluminumX  303 Stainless SteelX
CeramicX  4043 SteelX
ClothXX 6061 AluminumX
Coated MetalsX  Bayer 2807 Makrolon polycarbonateX
CorianXX Bayers Bayblend FR110X
CorkXX Black/White ABSX
DelrinXX BrassX
FabricXX Brushed AluminumX
FiberglassXX Carbon NanotubeX
GlassX  Clear Coat Anodized AluminumX
LeatherXX Cobalt Chrome SteelX
MarbleX  Colored Delrin (Black/White)X
Matte BoardXX Compacted Power Iron w/ FePO4 Coating X
MelanineXX CopperX
Mother of PearlX  DAP - Diallyl PhthalateX
MylarXX GE Plastics Polycarbonate Resin 121-RX
Painted MetalsX  Glass Filled PEKX
PaperXX Glass Filled TeflonX
PlasticXX Hard Coat Anodized AluminumX
Powder Coated MetalsX  Machine Tool SteelX
PressboardXX MagnesiumX
RubberXX Metal Plated CeramicsX
TileX  MolybdenumX
WoodXX Nickel Plated 1215 Mild SteelX
Wood VeneerXX NylonX
Bare Metals*  Polybutylene TerephthalateX
Brass*  PolysulphoneX
Stainless Steel*  Rynite PETX
Titanium*  SantopreneX
    Silicon CarbideX
*CO2 lasers will mark bare metals when coated with a metal marking solution. Silicon SteelX
 Silicon WafersX
    Nickel-Chromium Super AlloysX
    White PEEKX
    Yellow Chromate AluminumX
    Zinc Plated Mild SteelX

 

For further questions on material compatibility and material safety, contact the Epilog Laser Applications Lab by phone at 303-277-1188 or by web by clicking here: Epilog Laser Applications Lab
 
For a list of material settings, please reference the User Manual for your engraver by clicking here: Epilog Laser Machine Manuals
 


 
 
 

If further assistance is required, please contact Epilog Laser Technical Support by phone at 303-215-9171, or by email at tech@epiloglaser.com.

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