View Full Version : Laser X-Ray film (no silver)

Bob Cole
06-12-2007, 2:10 AM
I first want to thank everyone for the contributions to the forum. It helped me decide to purchase a laser (should get it installed next week :) ).

Does anyone have any experience with a laser and xray film? I work for a Radiology company and have access to unlimited xray film. I have a few prospective clients who purchase stencils and found out that xray film works great for this. I haven't found any information on the web if you can safely laser the film without damaging optics or causing health problems.

I am very new to laser engraving so slap me around if I ask a stupid question.

Here is what I did find out.

The film is made out of polyethylene terephthalate (known as polyester). The only information I can find on the web is located here:
On page 5 it goes into Handling and storage and mentions "...burning conditions and are likely to include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, aliphatic hydrocarbons, and aldehydes (acetaldehyde and butyraldehyde).
I called Kodak and got bounced around and no one could answer the question about laser cutting. The Kodak catalog number that I have access to is 872 3132 which is DVB (DryViewBlue) film. This would be after processed film that is being disposed of. Any patient information will be cut out.
I can get samples if needed.
I was bounced around Kodak.
Catalog# 872 3132
Lot# 024491-202-c-003
DVB (DryView Blue)
800-677-9933 then
800328-2910 (tech support) then
800-698-3324 (operator) then
800-242-2424 (main operator) who transferred me somewhere that disconnected the call :)

This was an e-mail to the ULS rep who sold me the X-660 (45W). I haven't heard back from him.

Any information is appreciated.

Rodne Gold
06-12-2007, 2:42 AM
Polyester is perfectly safe to engrave and cut and does so very well on the laser , we use lots of it for diverse applications

Bob Cole
06-12-2007, 5:11 PM
That is good news. Would you mind expanding on the different application uses? I know of stencils for airbrushing/painting and thought I read a thread that talked about sand blasting stencils, but I'm not so sure the film would hold up, but haven't done that type of work.

Richard Rumancik
06-12-2007, 11:35 PM
You might find more info on the laserability of polyethylene terephthalate if you search on the term PET. (The large soda bottles are made of polyethylene terephthalate and some types of blister packages are PET as well.) You will probably be able to cut the x-ray film just fine but I don't know if the chemicals used to sensitize the film would interfer in any way or be a cause for concern.

It is often difficult to get info from some plastics manufacturers about laserability of their plastic products; it does not surprise me that Kodak could not (or would not) provide any info as they are not selling the film with the intention that it be used as a raw material for fabrication of parts (or whatever). So you will likely have to do your own research.

I have used standard polyester film (drafting film) for a part used in electronic products. When circuit boards are housed in metal cases, sometimes insulating sheets are used under the PCB, to ensure that the board cannot contact the metal. Polyester is sometimes specified for this application.

Rodne Gold
06-13-2007, 1:46 AM
Well , we use thin polyester for many things , primarily 0.75mm thick stuff as it can be cut and hand bent to shape. Bends do not whiten and once bent the PETG holds its shape and is relatively stiff.

We make packaging and point of sale items with it.
The bends can also work as hinges as they can be opened and shut many many times with out cracking or stressing at the bend.
We also use polyester based "sign vinyl" as masks for acid etching and serious sand blasting (the shiny gold and silver vinyls are mostly polyester based , if the "vinyl" doesnt stretch , its non PVC)