Types of Natural Organic Materials
Very Hard Woods
All materials have unique characteristics that dictate how the laser beam interacts and consequently modifies the material. The most common processes for natural organic materials are the following:
Laser Cutting of Natural Organic Materials
The energy of a CO2 laser beam is easily absorbed by most natural organic materials. The laser beam heats the material that is directly in its path, causing it to rapidly heat up and vaporize. If the laser power is sufficiently high, the laser beam will cut completely through the material. Natural organic materials vaporize quickly when cut with a laser, resulting in smooth and straight edges with minimal discoloration.
Laser Engraving of Natural Organic Materials
The power of the laser beam can also be limited so that it removes material (engraves) to a specified depth. The laser engraving process can be used to create intricate patterns and designs in the surface of natural organic materials. Laser engraving can also be used to convey information.
Laser Marking of Natural Organic Materials
If laser power is sufficiently low, the surface of the natural organic material will be darkened but no material will be removed. This process is termed laser marking. Laser marking can be used to create designs or to convey information such a serial number or the manufacturer’s logo.