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Thread: cutting Delrin/acetal?

  1. #1

    cutting Delrin/acetal?

    I have a part I make and after cutting ABS need an alternative. Would delrin/acetal be a good plastic for laser?
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  2. #2
    Delrin engraves nicely and can be cut with the laser but you'll probably have some clean-up work to do in the area of the cut. (scraping edges with a razor blade or Exacto knife)
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

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  3. #3
    The part is a spacer for a product of mine and needs to be flexible. I use to have them water jet cut out of ABS but now that I have the laser I want to do them myself. I cut ABS last night and WOW that stuff stinks so I need an alternative. Delrin seems like a good one. Deburring is not an issue, odor is.
    2004 Hardinge VMC 40" X 20" travels, 12,000 RPM
    Rabbit Laser 9060 60 watt Laser Cut 5.3
    Corel draw X5 Photograv, Millwrite 2000, AutoCad

  4. #4
    I cut acetal all the time. It cuts beautifully with very little smell. Less smell than acrylic.

    How thick and flexible does the part need to be. Acetal will break under the right conditions.
    I design, engineer and program all sorts of things.

    Oh, and I use Adobe Illustrator with an Epilog Mini.

  5. #5
    Not that flexible and is only 1/16" thick. It gets double sided tape then stuck to the back one of my products. I will have to order some and test.
    2004 Hardinge VMC 40" X 20" travels, 12,000 RPM
    Rabbit Laser 9060 60 watt Laser Cut 5.3
    Corel draw X5 Photograv, Millwrite 2000, AutoCad

  6. #6
    I need to cut Black Delrin with the thickness of 4,5,20 and 25 mm. I didn't cut Delrin before with a laser cutter; instead I used my old CNC Router. But since I have a 150W Reci Tube, I wanted to try it out with the laser. What do you think about cutting Delrin with laser?
    Last edited by Adam Ajans; 09-05-2012 at 4:17 AM.

  7. #7
    I just cut 4mm black Delrin and it smells horrible. It's vapor burns my eyes,nose and throat. Really nasty thing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    I thought delrin released formaldehyde when burned, and on top of that burns with a colorless flame making it fairly dangerous as it's difficult to detect combustion.

    But it seems people here have had good luck with it, so maybe I'm wrong?

  9. #9
    I used strong air assist, so I didn't detect any combustion. But you might be right about it releasing formaldehyde. I don't know what gas has been released, but it's the worst smelling material I cut so far. As I said before, it burns your eyes, nose, throat and lungs.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    2 bad things in Delrin- Carbon Black and Formaldehyde. Search out a MSDS sheet for it. Burning both of the items listed and not good for you.

    CARCINOGENICITY INFORMATION
    The following components are listed by IARC, NTP, OSHA or ACGIH as carcinogens:

    MATERIAL

    Formaldehyde
    Carbon Black
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    Real name Steve but that name was taken on the forum. Used Middle name. Call me Steve or Scott, doesn't matter.

  11. #11
    Cut a bunch of Delrin recently (1/16", 1/8", 3/16") with great results. (Took the same route as you - tried a bunch of ABS, nearly killed myself with the fumes, decided I needed an alternative).

    I used white Delrin and the cuts were similar to acrylic with a very slight raised edge at the cut line. No noticeable smell. I suspect white resin is going to have less fillers than black resin, though I'm not positive.

    Additionally, I'd be sure that your Delrin isn't a copolymer with something like PTFE, as is pretty common. Haven't tried lasering that, but I doubt it can be good for you.

  12. #12
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    I find it hard to believe that delrin is unsafe..............Epilog lists settings for delrin in their manual.......so if I die from the fumes, I'll sue the out of them........

    I did go to Dupont's website to see if I could find anything on there......the MSDS didn't seem to mention anything.......but interestingly, they had something on there about laser welding:

    http://plastics.dupont.com/plastics/...ing/H99299.pdf
    Last edited by Mike Null; 09-07-2012 at 10:33 AM.
    Epilog Mini 24 - 45 Watt, Corel Draw X5, Wacom Intuos Tablet, Unengraved HP Laptop, with many more toys to come.....





    If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have one idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas... George B. Shaw

  13. #13
    I have cut/rastered delrin many times and never had problems with smell, they do not deform like acrylic when it gets hot.I dislike acrylics for the strong smell. They leave some ash like residue which can be seen if you raster them a lot.
    Kim

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Clarkson View Post
    so if I die from the fumes, I'll sue the out of them......
    Dead men can't testify!

    Just because it can be done doesn't mean you should forgo proper ventilation.
    Last edited by Mike Null; 09-07-2012 at 10:34 AM.

  15. #15
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    Glad you picked up on that one Luke........it WAS intentional.
    Epilog Mini 24 - 45 Watt, Corel Draw X5, Wacom Intuos Tablet, Unengraved HP Laptop, with many more toys to come.....





    If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have one idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas... George B. Shaw

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