View Full Version : Foam/Foam Rubber, MSDS, Can or Can't?

Gary Gilbert
09-21-2007, 4:03 PM
Hi folks,

I just garnered a deal pending the ability to cut foam, foam rubber, or something "equivalent". In essence, I'm creating custom cutouts for wooden boxes, and need to cut 3 layers of foam to hold marginally delicate items in their own slots.

Mostly, it is for "appearance", as I will also etch the wooden box that this is made from.


Is it safe for my system?

Is there a particular type that is safe?

How do you find MSDS information on foam you buy in craft stores (like Michael's, etc.) Plus, once I do have the MSDS, what the heck to I look for?

Thank you,


Gary Hair
09-21-2007, 6:53 PM
Really, the only thing you want to absolutely avoid is anything with PVC. I have lasered a boatload of EVA foam purchased at Michaels and it cut really well. You can find this stuff in 12x12 sheets for about $2 each, 1/4" thick. I did find an msds for it and was glad to see it was PVC free - it's the C that you need to avoid, "chloride". The P and V, "poly" and "vinyl" are really nothing to worry about.

Looking at MSDS's is a bit intimidating but what you need is normally pretty obvious. Everything emits noxious or dangerous fumes when burned, pvc adds to that by emitting chlorine gas which turns into hydro-chloric acid when it mixes with the moisture in the air.


Bill Cunningham
09-23-2007, 8:39 PM
I cut styrofoam for custom packing needs all the time. I have also cut wetsuit material both chemblown, and G231N Nitrogen blown.. I haven't run the beam over 'SpongeBob' yet! But once he's fastened down, I don't think he will offer any resistance:eek: