Laser Cutting Foam Precision Board with Universal Laser Systems
For those with access to the necessary equipment, lasers can be an effective means of cutting, engraving, and marking various materials. High power, high-wavelength Carbon Dioxide lasers are widely used for material processing, namely for their versatility and relatively low cost as compared to solid-state laser systems. CO2 lasers are ideal for projects that require cuts or engravings so precise that they prevent the use of hand tools, or even a CNC router. But with such a volatile cutting technology, extra precautions need to be observed to ensure the safety of the laser operator. With this in mind, we set out to test the limits of our Precision Board Plus. Not only did we want to ensure that Precision Board could be effectively processed using a CO2 laser, we wanted to prove that it was completely safe to do so. So we turned to Universal Laser Systems to give us a hand with laser cutting foam HDU.
When any material is burned and vaporized, it gives off certain gaseous byproducts called effluent. Since CO2 lasers cut and engrave by literally burning through the material with focused beams of light, the laser operator is always in close proximity to the effluent, and usually in an enclosed space. If the released gasses have any harmful properties, this could pose a serious hazard to the operator’s safety. For our tests, we wanted to ensure that the effluent byproducts of Precision Board did not exceed OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL), federal regulations that dictate safe chemical exposure levels.
For the tests, we chose to use a selection of densities of Precision Board to achieve the most accurate results. To test the efficacy of cutting and engraving, we chose to use our lightest density, PBLT-4, and one of our most popular signage densities, PBLT-15. This would give us a good idea of the surface definition and cut precision we could achieve with Precision Board, as it will only improve with denser material. For the OSHA PEL test we chose our heaviest material, PBHT-75. Because of the high density, it would release the maximum amount of effluent when laser processed. If the PBHT-75 passed the PEL test, we knew that every lighter density would pass as well, since every density of Precision Board is identical in chemical composition. Universal Laser Systems used their PLS6.150D CO2 laser system for every test in conjunction with air assist, a honeycomb cutting table, and dual-laser configuration.
I won’t leave you in suspense: Precision Board passed every test with flying colors. For the OSHA PEL test on PBHT-75, Universal Laser Systems used a sophisticated RTGA Mass Spectrometer and a carbon monoxide detector to monitor the levels of effluent at all times during testing. They noted the following in their report: “The concentration of the detected compounds did not exceed their respective OSHA PEL at any level of filtration during this study.” It’s official, and we have the lab report to back it up: Laser cutting foam Precision Board is completely safe.
As for the cutting and engraving tests, you can see for yourself how they turned out. The level of detail achieved on every sample is simply incredible. Even the ultra-lightweight PBLT-4 can be engraved to a high degree of precision and surface detail. PBLT-15 and PBHT-75 performed even better, and their higher densities will allow for greater durability over a longer period. The word is finally in: Precision Board is perfect for laser cutting and engraving, so get out there and laser it up! Laser cutting foam HDU is a great processing method, so click here for a free sample and start laser cutting Precision Board today.