Laser Cutting

The cutting of polyimide (also known as Kapton or Cirlex) with laser systems is characterized by its high level of precision, quick turn around and flexibility.

As an alternative to tool-based die cutting, it offers many advantages.

  • Laser cutting uses exact precision to create any design without limitation, much lower tolerance compared to plotting or traditional die cutting.
  • No extra tooling cost is required for laser cutting.
  • Lower MOQ for fabricating complex and simple parts alike on a prototyping or production basis.

 

Laser effect on Polyimide, Kapton and Cirlex

Polyimides are excellent absorbers of CO2 laser energy. When the polymer absorbs laser energy, it quickly converts optical energy into heat. The material just outside of the laser’s path will conduct some heat, this heat affected zone of the polyimide films will be black and carbonized. This black char and residues can be cleaned up using a cotton swab with some isopropyl alcohol

For clean cuts, wavelength is the secret sauce. Kapton and polyimide can also be laser cut with a UV pulsed lasers. This matches the absorption bands of kapton (10.6 um)and allows cleaner cutting.

Materials

Laser cutting is ideal for the following material:

Industries

Laser cutting services are utilized in many applications across many industries, which include:

  • Electronics
  • Automotive
  • Medical
  • Aerospace

CGS stocks various thickness of polyimide films, including 5 and 10 mils, which is used to replace Kapton and Cirlex materials. Using laser cutting we and can provide a quick turnaround on custom prototype parts.