Material In Depth: Application Tape

Protective application tape
Protective application tape

Minimise burn marks on your laser cutting by adding application tape to one or both sides of your material. Application tape is also referred to as transfer tape, masking tape, protective tape.

Laser cutting and engraving is the process of burning materials with  intensely amplified light, so by nature the  materials get burnt around the edges of the cut and design. We optimise our power settings to keep these burn marks to a minimum, however application tape further reduces burn on some materials.

Protective application tape - with / without

A low-tack protective application tape can be applied to some materials to minimise burn marks and reduce the need for post cutting cleanup (sanding etc). Tape can be applied to the under-side of materials (where most burning occurs) or to both sides.

Things to note when using application tape:

• without application tape, material can sometimes discolour due to the smoke and residue in the machine (see image above)

• when removing application tape from timber, small fibres may be lifted up. This can be rectified with light sanding

• application tape does not guarantee total prevention of burn marks / residue, but can reduce them by up to 90%

• The Laser Co delivers jobs with application tape in tact which you will need to remove

• delicate materials and thin cuts may infrequently be subject to damage or breakage when removing tape, customer discretion assumed

$10 per side for full sheets / $5 per side for half sheets

Which materials can transfer tape be applied to?

Poplar Plywood Yes
Bamboo Plywood Yes
Beech Plywood Yes
Cork Yes
Premium Mahogany Yes
Premium Birch Yes
Tasmanian Oak / Walnut Veneer Yes
Polypropylene Yes - we strongly recommend using application tape if the aesthetic of the polypropylene is important. If creating a stencil or similar, this is not important.
Acrylic Yes - Our acrylic already comes with a protective tape applied to both sides.
Grey Boxboard No - the tape can rip the surface when removed.
Screenboard Yes, but if you are cutting a particularly intricate design, it can be difficult to remove the tape without damaging the surface of the screenboard.
Corrugated card No - the tape can rip the surface when removed.
Black Card No - the tape can rip the surface when removed.