View Full Version : Polycarbonate sheets

Gary Noble 6363
04-22-2011, 6:11 AM
I have a 60w laser machine and am having big problems cutting out holes in hollow double wall 4mm polycarbonate that has been uv coated.
The problem I am having is that the fumes seem to be going down the flute and scorching the material.
Is it possible to laser cut/engrave this material? if so what would the settings be?

Thanks in advance


Gary Hair
04-22-2011, 12:17 PM
Are you using air assist and do you have your blower on? Is the material raised off the laser bed on a honeycomb or pins? If no to any of those questions then I would start there and see what happens.


Martin Boekers
04-22-2011, 1:56 PM
Polycarbonates are nasty to cut, yes you can cut it, fumes aren't good and usually gives a nasty yellowed edge.
Not as nice as acrylic.

Richard Rumancik
04-23-2011, 10:58 AM
Gary, polycarbonate will not cut very well with a laser at the best of times - I have cut .030" film successfully (it leaves a golden colored edge) but beyond that you will get rough, black, carbonized edges. It creates a lot of green smoke when cut; if that smoke gets inside the flutes you probably will not be able to do anything about it. Quite honestly I don't think the laser is the best option for this hollow polycarbonate. Waterjet might be a better alternative or possibly a CNC router.

Joe Pelonio
04-23-2011, 11:30 AM
I get yellow smoke, not green, but it's nasty. I stick to 1/8" or less on polycarbonate and charge extra for it. The problem with anything fluted is that you have to set the speed/power to cut through the bottom and it's too much for the middle. Coroplast/corex up to 4mm seems to do OK but what you are trying to cut (I use it on my greenhouse) is better left to other methods than laser.

Gary Noble 6363
04-24-2011, 6:39 AM
Many thanks for all of the replies.
It was the yellowing that was of most concern.
I think from now on polycarbonate will go to the top of my list for things to avoid.

Once again thanks for all of the advice.