Paper converting processes generally operate at very high speeds, with roll-to-roll machines sometimes reaching speeds of up to 400m/min. Laser cutting is achieved by sublimation, removing material without melting. Paper and card materials generally react well to the CO2 laser wavelength range, so the cutting process is fast and reliable, and quality is good.
The graph below shows that process (paper cutting) speed is directly proportional to the laser power used, so doubling the process speed would usually need twice the power. It also demonstrates that the 9.3µm wavelength can cut up to 20% faster than the 10.6µm laser, depending on the composition and weight of the paper. Luxinar’s SR series and OEM 45iX sealed CO2 laser sources are recommended for these high-speed paper converting applications at the 9.3µm wavelength.
In addition, the laser process allows complex designs to be cut with ease and precision, and designs can be changed or modified with a minimum of fuss. The non-contact nature of the process means that delicate designs, such as those needed for greetings cards and fancy stationery, are not deformed or distorted during cutting.
The Luxinar applications laboratory is equipped with CO2 lasers at both 10.6µm and 9.3µm wavelengths.