Laser & Waterjet Cutting Experts
sales@westcountryprofiles.co.uk | 01460 66781
sales@westcountryprofiles.co.uk

Laser profiles & waterjet cutting, Somerset

Materials Compatibility for Laser Cutting

Mar 13, 2024

In this article, we will cover the various materials and thicknesses we stock for use on our Laser. We will also go into a little bit of detail about the application of these materials.

Laser cutting is a precise method that utilizes a high-powered laser beam to cut through metals with exceptional accuracy and speed. Its versatility makes it indispensable for a wide range of metalworking applications, offering clean edges and intricate shapes for various industrial components and manufacturing processes.Today we will primarily focus on the materials we stock and use regularly.

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Mild Steel ( Ferrous ) – Mild Steel, also known as low carbon steel, is a widely-used metal alloy characterized by its relatively low carbon content, typically ranging from 0.05% to 0.25%. This composition makes Mild Steel softer, more ductile, and easier to work with compared to higher carbon steels. It exhibits good weldability, machinability, and formability, making it suitable for various industrial applications such as construction, automotive manufacturing, and general fabrication. While not as strong as some other types of steel, Mild Steel offers a favorable balance of strength, affordability, and versatility, making it a popular choice across many industries. We stock a few specific grades

Corten – Corten Steel, also known as weathering steel, develops a rust-like appearance over time when exposed to the elements. This natural oxidation forms a protective layer, making it resistant to corrosion and ideal for outdoor applications such as architectural projects and artistic installations. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 2mm, 3mm, 5mm & 6mm

CR4 – CR4 steel is a type of cold-rolled mild steel known for its smooth surface finish and uniform thickness. It is commonly used in automotive panels, appliance manufacturing, and general fabrication due to its excellent formability and weldability. CR4 steel undergoes a cold-rolling process, where it is compressed between rollers at room temperature to achieve its desired thickness and surface quality. Its versatility, affordability, and ease of fabrication make CR4 steel a popular choice for a wide range of industrial applications. This comes in a range of thicknesses 0.9mm, 1mm, 1.2mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm.

Galvanised S275 – Galvanized Z275 refers to a specific type of galvanized steel with a coating. This coating provides excellent corrosion resistance, making it suitable for outdoor applications, construction, and manufacturing. The “Z” designation signifies the zinc coating, while the number “275” represents the coating weight in grams per square meter. Galvanized Z275 steel is valued for its durability, longevity, and ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 0.9mm, 1mm, 1.2mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm & 4mm.

Hot Rolled DD11 – Hot Rolled DD11 steel is a type of low carbon steel that is commonly used in manufacturing processes such as forming and welding. It is produced through a hot rolling process, where the steel is heated to high temperatures and then passed through rollers to achieve the desired thickness and shape. DD11 steel offers good weldability and formability, making it suitable for various applications in industries such as automotive manufacturing, construction, and general fabrication. Its low carbon content contributes to its ease of machining and forming, while still providing adequate strength for many applications. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm & 6mm.

S275 – S275 Steel is a structural steel grade that is commonly used in construction and engineering applications. It offers good strength, weldability, and machinability, making it suitable for a wide range of structural projects, such as building frames, bridges, and machinery components. S275 Steel is characterized by its high strength-to-weight ratio, allowing for efficient and cost-effective designs. It conforms to the European standard EN 10025, ensuring consistent quality and performance in various structural applications. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 15mm, 20mm & 25mm. Our laser cutting capabilities allow us to cut sheets up to 25mm in thickness, representing the maximum thickness we can handle.

S355 – S355 Steel is a structural steel grade known for its high strength and excellent weldability. Widely used in construction, bridges, and offshore structures, S355 Steel offers superior mechanical properties and impact resistance. It conforms to the European standard EN 10025, ensuring quality and reliability for structural applications requiring durability and load-bearing capacity. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 15m, 20mm & 26mm. Our laser cutting capabilities allow us to cut sheets up to 25mm in thickness, representing the maximum thickness we can handle.

Steel Floor Plate S275 – Floor Plate S275 is a type of structural steel with a raised patterned surface designed for flooring applications. Made from S275 grade steel, it offers durability, strength, and enhanced slip resistance, making it ideal for industrial settings, walkways, stairs, and platforms. Floor Plate S275 provides a reliable and safe flooring solution, meeting various safety standards while offering ease of installation and maintenance. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 3mm, 4.5mm & 6mm.

Zintec – Zintec Steel, also known as electro-zinc coated steel, is a type of sheet steel that has been coated with a thin layer of zinc through an electroplating process. This coating provides excellent corrosion resistance, making Zintec Steel suitable for a wide range of indoor and outdoor applications. It is commonly used in manufacturing components for the automotive industry, electrical enclosures, and general fabrication. Zintec Steel offers a smooth, consistent surface finish and can be easily welded, formed, and painted to meet specific requirements. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 0.9mm, 1mm, 1.2mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm.

Stainless Steel ( Non-Ferrous ) – Stainless Steel is a corrosion-resistant alloy known for its durability and versatility. It contains chromium, which forms a protective oxide layer on the surface, preventing rust and corrosion. Stainless Steel is widely used in various industries, including construction, automotive, and food processing, due to its strength, hygiene properties, and aesthetic appeal. It comes in various grades and finishes to suit different applications, making it a preferred choice for demanding environments where corrosion resistance is essential. Stainless steel is accessible in a few grades and a variety of finishes, the two main grades being 304 & 316.

304 2B – 304 2B Steel is a type of stainless steel characterized by its composition of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, known as 18-8 stainless steel. The ‘2B’ designation refers to the finishindicating a smooth, moderately reflective surface obtained through rolling to achieve its final shape and dimensions. This finish is commonly used for applications requiring a clean and uniform appearance, such as kitchen appliances, architectural trim, and industrial equipment. 304 2B Steel offers excellent corrosion resistance, high strength, and formability, making it suitable for a wide range of applications in various industries. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 0.8mm, 0.9mm, 1mm, 1.2mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm & 3mm.

304 DP1 – 304 DP1 Steel is a grade of stainless steel characterized by its composition of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, known as 18-8 stainless steel. The ‘DP1’ designation indicates a dull polished finish, providing a smooth, matte appearance. This finish is achieved through mechanical polishing processes, resulting in a surface suitable for applications where a non-reflective finish is desired, such as architectural elements, kitchen equipment, and decorative components. 304 DP1 Steel offers excellent corrosion resistance, high strength, and versatility, making it suitable for various industrial and commercial uses. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 0.9mm, 1.2mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm & 3mm.

304 Hot Rolled – 304 HR Steel, also known as 304 Hot Rolled Steel, is a grade of stainless steel renowned for its composition of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, commonly referred to as 18-8 stainless steel. The ‘HR’ designation signifies that the steel has been hot rolled to achieve its final shape and dimensions. This process involves heating the steel above its recrystallization temperature and then passing it through rollers to shape it into its desired form. 304 HR Steel exhibits excellent corrosion resistance, high strength, and formability, making it suitable for a wide range of applications, including structural components, automotive parts, and machinery. Its versatility and durability make it a preferred choice for various industrial and commercial uses. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm & 15mm.

304 Tread plate – 304 Tread Plate Steel is a type of stainless steel sheet featuring a raised patterned surface known as treadplate or diamond plate. This pattern provides enhanced slip resistance and durability, making it ideal for applications requiring safe footing, such as industrial flooring, stair treads, and vehicle running boards. Made from 304 stainless steel, it offers excellent corrosion resistance, high strength, and aesthetic appeal. 304 Treadplate Steel is commonly used in environments where traction and durability are essential, offering a reliable solution for various industrial and commercial applications. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 1mm, 3mm, 4.5mm, 6mm.

304 Cold Rolled – 304 Cold Rolled Steel is a type of stainless steel known for its composition of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, often referred to as 18-8 stainless steel. The ‘Cold Rolled’ designation indicates that the steel has been processed at room temperature to achieve its final shape and surface finish. This process involves passing the steel through rollers to reduce thickness and improve dimensional accuracy. 304 Cold Rolled Steel offers excellent corrosion resistance, high strength, and versatility, making it suitable for a wide range of applications, including automotive components, kitchen appliances, and architectural features. Its smooth surface finish and uniform thickness make it ideal for precision fabrication and aesthetic applications. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 5mm & 6mm

316 2B – 316 2B Steel is a grade of stainless steel characterized by its composition of 16-18% chromium, 10-14% nickel, and 2-3% molybdenum, known as austenitic stainless steel. The ‘2B’ designation indicates a smooth, moderately reflective surface finish. This finish is commonly used for applications requiring a clean and uniform appearance, such as kitchen equipment, architectural elements, and industrial machinery. 316 2B Steel offers excellent corrosion resistance, high strength, and resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion, making it suitable for marine environments and chemical processing applications. This comes in a range of Thicknesses – 0.9mm, 1mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm & 3mm.

316 DP1 – 316 DP1 Steel is a grade of stainless steel known for its composition of 16-18% chromium, 10-14% nickel, and 2-3% molybdenum, categorized as austenitic stainless steel. The ‘DP1’ designation signifies a dull polished finish, achieved through mechanical polishing processes. This finish provides a smooth, matte appearance suitable for applications requiring a non-reflective surface, such as architectural elements, kitchen equipment, and pharmaceutical machinery. 316 DP1 Steel offers superior corrosion resistance, high strength, and durability, making it suitable for use in corrosive environments and demanding industrial applications. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 0.9mm, 1.2mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm & 4mm.

316 Hot Rolled – 316 Hot Rolled Steel is a grade of stainless steel renowned for its composition of 16-18% chromium, 10-14% nickel, and 2-3% molybdenum, known as austenitic stainless steel. The ‘Hot Rolled’ designation indicates that the steel has been processed at high temperatures to achieve its final shape and dimensions. This process involves heating the steel above its recrystallization temperature and then passing it through rollers to shape it into its desired form. 316 Hot Rolled Steel offers excellent corrosion resistance, high strength, and formability, making it suitable for a wide range of applications, including chemical processing, marine environments, and medical devices. Its versatility and durability make it a preferred choice for various industrial and commercial uses. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm & 12mm.

Ferritic – 1.4003 (3CR12) – CR12 Steel is a high-carbon tool steel known for its exceptional wear resistance and edge retention properties. It contains approximately 1.5% carbon, along with chromium, vanadium, and other alloying elements, contributing to its hardness and toughness. CR12 Steel is commonly used in the production of cutting tools, dies, and molds for industrial applications where high wear resistance and dimensional stability are required. Its ability to maintain a sharp cutting edge and withstand repetitive use makes CR12 Steel a preferred choice for demanding tooling applications in various industries, including metalworking, woodworking, and plastic molding. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 1.2mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm & 6mm.

Aluminium ( Non Ferrous ) – Aluminium is a lightweight and versatile metal known for its excellent corrosion resistance, high strength-to-weight ratio, and conductivity. It is widely used in various industries, including construction, transportation, aerospace, and packaging. Aluminium is abundant in nature and can be easily recycled, making it environmentally friendly. Its properties make it suitable for a wide range of applications, from structural components and vehicle bodies to electrical wiring and beverage cans. Overall, aluminium’s combination of strength, durability, and recyclability makes it a valuable material in modern manufacturing and construction.

1050 – 1050 Aluminium is a commercially pure aluminium alloy known for its excellent formability, corrosion resistance, and high electrical conductivity. It contains 99.5% aluminium, along with small amounts of other elements such as iron and silicon. This alloy is often used in applications requiring high thermal and electrical conductivity, such as electrical conductors, heat exchangers, and lighting fixtures. 1050 Aluminium is also suitable for forming processes such as spinning, drawing, and stamping, making it ideal for manufacturing various components in the automotive, aerospace, and electronics industries. Its purity and versatility make it a popular choice for a wide range of applications where lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and conductive materials are needed. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 0.7mm, 1mm, 1.2mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm & 6mm.

5083 – 5083 Aluminium is a high-strength alloy known for its excellent corrosion resistance, particularly in marine environments. It contains magnesium as its primary alloying element, along with smaller amounts of manganese and chromium. 5083 Aluminium offers exceptional weldability, formability, and machinability, making it suitable for a wide range of applications, including marine and naval architecture, transportation (such as shipbuilding and automotive components), and structural engineering. Its combination of strength, corrosion resistance, and lightweight properties makes 5083 Aluminium a preferred choice for applications requiring durability and reliability in harsh environments. This comes in a range of thicknesses – 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm & 12mm.

5251 – 5251 Aluminium is a high-strength alloy known for its excellent corrosion resistance and weldability. It contains magnesium as its primary alloying element, along with smaller amounts of manganese and chromium. 5251 Aluminium offers good formability and machinability, making it suitable for various applications in industries such as marine, automotive, and architectural. Common uses include boat hulls, automotive panels, architectural components, and general fabrication. Its combination of strength, corrosion resistance, and formability makes 5251 Aluminium a versatile choice for a wide range of applications requiring lightweight, durable materials. This material comes in a range of thicknesses – 1mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm & 6mm.

6082 – 6082 Aluminium is a versatile alloy known for its excellent strength, corrosion resistance, and weldability. It contains silicon and magnesium as its primary alloying elements, with trace amounts of other elements such as chromium and manganese. 6082 Aluminium offers good machinability but next to no formability making it this material unfoldable, it is however suitable for various applications in industries such as construction, automotive, and marine. Common uses include structural components, architectural fittings, and transportation equipment. Its combination of strength, corrosion resistance, and versatility makes 6082 Aluminium a preferred choice for applications requiring lightweight, durable materials with high performance capabilities. This material comes in a range of thicknesses – 1.5mm, 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm & 10mm.This concludes our stock material list. However there are many other materials that while aren’t usually a stock item we are more than happy to cut.

Copper – Copper is a challenging material to cut with lasers due to its high thermal conductivity and reflective properties. When subjected to laser cutting, copper tends to reflect a significant portion of the laser energy, leading to reduced cutting efficiency and potential damage to the laser optics. However, with advanced laser systems and specialized techniques, it is possible to cut copper effectively. By using appropriate laser parameters, such as higher power settings and shorter pulse durations, along with assist gases like nitrogen or oxygen, it is possible to achieve clean and precise cuts in copper materials. Additionally, proper focusing and beam delivery systems are essential to overcomes the challenges posed by copper’s reflective nature. Despite its challenges, laser cutting remains a viable method for processing copper materials, offering advantages such as high precision, minimal material wastage, and the ability to create intricate shapes and designs. We can cut copper in a variety of thicknesses – 1mm to 6mm.

Brass – Brass is a commonly used material in laser cutting due to its favorable combination of properties, including good machinability, ductility, and corrosion resistance. When laser cutting brass, the process typically involves using a high-powered laser beam to melt and vaporize the material along the desired cutting path. However, brass can be more challenging to cut compared to some other metals due to its thermal conductivity and reflectivity. To achieve optimal results, laser cutting parameters such as power, speed, and focal length are adjusted accordingly. Additionally, using assist gases like oxygen or nitrogen can help improve cutting efficiency and reduce oxidation on the cut edges. Despite these challenges, laser cutting remains a popular method for processing brass, offering advantages such as high precision, minimal material wastage, and the ability to produce intricate designs with clean edges. We can cut copper in a variety of thicknesses – 1mm to 8mm.

Titanium – Titanium is a challenging material to cut with lasers due to its high melting point, low thermal conductivity, and reactivity with oxygen at elevated temperatures. Laser cutting of titanium typically requires advanced laser systems capable of delivering high power densities to overcome these challenges. To prevent oxidation and achieve clean cuts, titanium is often cut in an inert gas environment, such as argon or nitrogen. Additionally, specialized laser parameters, including higher power levels, slower cutting speeds, and optimized beam focusing, may be necessary to ensure efficient material removal and minimize heat-affected zones. Despite the challenges, laser cutting remains a viable method for processing titanium due to its ability to produce precise cuts with minimal material wastage and excellent repeatability. We can cut Titanium in a variety of thicknesses – 1mm to 5mm.

This concludes our non-stock material list and this article as a whole. If you’re a new customer, we appreciate & look forward to the opportunity of working with you and hope that you find our prices & service satisfactory. If you’re an existing customer, Thank you for your continued custom we wouldn’t be here without you. 

We’d love to hear from you

Address:
Millfield Industrial Estate
Chard
Somerset
TA20 2BB

Opening times:
Monday - Thursday
8:00am - 1:00pm
1:30pm- 4:30pm

Friday 8:00am - 12:00pm

Other times open for collection by appointment.

Contact:
sales@westcountryprofiles.co.uk or
01460 66781