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Laser cutting silicon rubber

laser

(Peter Csakany) #1

Hi,

I am interested in cutting gaskets from 3mm silicon rubber. I have made some research on the subject and even got some trial cuts. It seems that some laser cutters have silicon rubber settings. A 80W laser cutter can cut through 2.2mm of silicon rubber with full speed. It can just about cut through 3mm with half speed but it smokes a burs a lot. Though the cut is nice once dusted off.

Any Idea how the laser cutter in the blue laser cutter would handle this?

Peter


(Chris) #2

Hey Peter,

I have found that on our laser, with “thick” material (this applies to things that smoke/burr like leather, as the char residue causes problems) it is indeed possible to get through >3mm with careful attention to the bed zeroing and brushing/scraping out the residue crumbs between 2 or more runs.

I have long thought about this but not tried it, as often the cuts get >50% through the material before causing issues - a potential method to overcome this is to make a simple frame jig with locating pins so that you may accurately cut from both sides of the material, much like how I have handled double-sided engraving on CNC machines in the past. I’m pretty confident you could get this to line up nicely enough for the cutting lines to match up. Considering that the rubber is like leather, you will get a zone of cut rather than a thin line, which would probably be quite forgiving for tiny mismatches in orientation.

As for the unknown aspect of the material and not being on the ‘approved’ list, we would have to have access to a MSDS document for it and some test pieces before we consider cutting in the space.


(Peter Csakany) #3

Hi,

I understand the double sided approach, tough I would rather try the single sided one even if it is more scrubbing at the end of the cutting session. Hopefully it can cut more then 2 slices before it gets clogged up. I guess we can see if we tried.

The safety documents are available form these links:
http://www.silex.co.uk/media/34381/msds-gp-solid-sheet.pdf
http://www.silex.co.uk/media/32265/Solid-sheet-30-80-spec-2015.pdf
http://www.silex.co.uk/media/31531/FDA-Approval-Solid-Sheet.pdf

I have a roll of 2mm and 3mm sheets. What is the size you need for testing?