Laser triangulation depends upon capturing a small amount of reflected energy in the imaging system. Most materials can be scanned using laser triangulation.
Specular vs. Diffuse Reflection
The scanner must be able to see a reflection from the object being scanned to gather data. The laser or camera cannot be obstructed, and the target must have at least some component of diffuse (multi-direction) reflection. Diffuse materials will reflect the reference laser in “all” directions. Specular reflection refers to a mirror-like surface where incident light is reflected in equal and opposite direction. Even highly specular reflective material may be scanned with appropriate scan zone design. However, an object with a purely specular surface cannot be scanned as the reflected beam will have no component directed at the image sensor.