Fluoropolymers are a class of polymers containing carbon-fluoride bonds characterized by a high resistance to harsh environments. Commercially available fluoropolymers include Teflon™ (PTFE), Halar® (ECTFE) and Kel-F® (PCTFE). Laser processing of fluoropolymers can be performed with either a 10.6 or 9.3 micron CO2 laser, with no appreciable difference in process quality. Fluoropolymers do not readily absorb the energy from the 1.06 micron fiber laser and is not recommended for these materials. Laser cutting of fluoropolymers with a CO2 laser results in a clean edge with minimal melting along the cut path and free of discoloration. Laser engraving of fluoropolymers with a CO2 laser results in depth and limited melt-back at the point of ablation.
Applicable Laser Processes for Fluoropolymers