Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser Cutting for Metal

co2 laser cutting steel

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser Cutting for Metal

We specialise in laser cutting metal and offer the latest in technology and best range of metal laser cutting options in the Sydney region.

You may be familiar with the two main options for laser cutting metal, CO2 laser (Carbon Dioxide Laser) and fibre laser. We recently covered the benefits of fibre lasers on our blog, and today we’ll cover the limitations of a CO2¹ laser.

What is a Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser

A Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser is one of the earliest types of gas laser inventions, developed in 1964. CO2 lasers produce a beam of infrared light with principal wavelength bands centring on 9.6 & 10.6 μm (micrometers).

CO2 lasers are still very useful today and are the highest power continuous wave lasers available today.

Because CO2 laser work in the infrared light range, special materials such as silvered or gold mirrors and lenses made of germanium and zinc selenide that are not as easily degraded by the laser are required for construction.

CO2 lasers are suitable for cutting, boring and engraving metal, however there are some limitations

What are the limitations?

Our CO2 lasers are limited to cutting:

  • Stainless Steel
  • Aluminium

Running and maintenance cost of a CO2 laser is higher.

CO2 lasers are also limited by material thickness, and use far more energy, which is why the use of fibre lasers is preferred to achieve cuts on thicker materials, and metals such as copper and brass.

Yellow metals such as copper and brass can’t easily be cut with a CO2 laser as their low absorption of infrared light, which is why we use fibre laser to cut those materials.

 Fibre Laser Vs CO2 Laser

Fibre CO2
Metal sheets
Thin material width
Thick material width
Rough surfaces
Energy efficiency
Operating cost

Watch a video of laser cut metal


While CO2 lasers are still extremely useful, fibre lasers allow us to cut a much wider variety of metals including copper and brass. Utilising both machines in our workshop allows us to expand our metal fabrication services to cover many metal types and thicknesses right in the heart of Sydney.

If you have any questions regarding laser cutting metal projects, please contact our specialist team today.