What plastics to burn


(Ray Webster) #1

I did a search but came up with nothing. I have read not to burn PVC, but what other plastics are OK? For instance what about corian??
Ray


(Jamie Richards) #2

Corian is fine. Acrylic and Delrin is also ok.


(Jamie Richards) #3

Here’s a list from a site via google search.

Plastics:

  • ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
  • Acrylic (also known as Plexiglas, Lucite, PMMA)
  • Delrin (POM, acetal) – for a supplier, try McMaster-Carr.
  • High density polyethylene (HDPE) – melts badly
  • Kapton tape (Polyimide)
  • Mylar (polyester)
  • Nylon – melts badly
  • PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol)
  • Polyethylene (PE) – melts badly
  • Polypropylene (PP) – melts somewhat
  • Styrene
  • Two-tone acrylic – top color different than core material, usually for custom instrumentation panels, signs, and plaques.

http://atxhackerspace.org/wiki/Laser_Cutter_Materials

We do not or cannot cut the following materials:

  • Polycarbonate (PC, Lexan) – we stopped cutting Lexan due to the fumes.
  • Any material containing chlorine
  • PVC (Cintra) – contains chlorine
  • Vinyl – contains chlorine
  • Glass – we can engrave glass, but we cannot cut it.
  • Fiberglass
  • Printed circuit board (FR4 and other material types)
  • Carbon fiber
  • High-density polyethylene (HDPE) thicker than 1/16" – We are unable to cut HDPE thicker than 1/16", and HDPE of any thickness melts badly when laser cut.

(Ray Webster) #4

Thank-you Jamie.
I will print out this list and have it by the machine.

Ray


(Anders Troberg) #5

The next question then becomes:

If I have this random bit of plastic I’ve salvaged from somewhere, or some undocumented object I’d like to mark (say, a laptop), how do I figure out what it is without doing dangerous experiments?


(Chris Wright) #6

There are plenty of resources on the web to help you identify various plastics. The Beilstein Test is probably the easiest to perform (https://makezine.com/2011/09/22/identifying-unknown-plastics/)

Here is a table that will provide more detailed characteristics: https://www.boedeker.com/Technical-Resources/Technical-Library/Plastic-Identification


(Angel Ars) #7

There are filters that you can buy which will remove the toxic fumes. One that comes to mind is called Zimpure. You can read about it here;

https://www.zimple3d.com/zimpure/

Simple HEPA filters will not help however. Venting the fumes outside will.


(Ray Webster) #8

Thanks to all that replied.
For now at least I will be playing it very safe.
Ray


(Dean E Forss) #9

Not for the people outside who breath those fumes.


(Bernd ) #10

Never Burn PVC - Hydrogen chloride will be released and it will eat everything nearby, including your lungs.
POM is also some toxic material you should not put on fire, but this applies to many plastics …


(Ray Webster) #11

Has anyone cut foams? I would like to cut EVA-38 Foam Sheets - White, 6mm, but not sure if it will be safe to do so, any advise is appreciated.

Thanks
Ray


(Doug Fisher) #12

Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate ( EVA ). It has the dreaded word vinyl in it, so I would not use it and would find something else.


(Ray Webster) #13

While I agree with you Doug, I found this site
https://www.ulsinc.com/materials/eva-foam
they say it can me cut, I was just wondering if anyone else has tried it.


(Isaac Barbary) #14

It’s not vinyl that is the issue, it is specifically PVC that is the problem due to the presence of chlorine in its chemical makeup. Burning PVC produces hydrogen chloride which, when combined with water in the air, makes an acid that damages the laser. It’s harmful to breathe too.

As EVA does not contain chlorine, it does not produce hydrogen chloride when burned.


(Ray Webster) #15

Thank-you chaoticmind