Checking Laser Cutter Materials for Chlorine - Beilstein Test

About: I'm a Maker and a teacher who loves to learn and share. Follow my adventures here and on YouTube. Now, let's go make something :)

Did you know that some products have chlorine used to make them? Interesting, but this could become deadly if they are used in a laser cutter, as the process turnes the chlorine in the material into gas.

Chlorine gas was used as poison gas right before World War 1 and will not only harm you, it will also harm your equipment.

But there is a quick and safe way to check the material to see if it has been made with Chlorine.

Supplies:

Some copper wire

A flame torch

A sample of the material you plan to be cut in your laser

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Step 1: Heat Up the Copper Wire

Take your torch and heat up the copper wire till it is hot enough to melt a small amount of material

Step 2: Get a Sample for Testing

USe the heated copper wire, and melt a small amount of material onto the wire itself. You don't need a lot, just a small amount is enough to test for chlorine.

Step 3: Insert Your Copper Wire and Sample for Testing

Place the copper wire back into the flame. If it turns green like in the photo, you now know that the material now has chlorine present.

DO NOT USE THIS MATERIAL IN YOUR LASER CUTTER!

You might harm yourself or others and you will definitely damage your laser cutter.

If the flame does not change colour, then you are safe to use it without creating chlorine gas.

Step 4:

In my video above, I show how you can do this test in a few seconds, and recommend that if you have a laser cutter in a Makerspace or workshop, to run this test when you have new materials being used that you do not know their origin.

I have a lot of Maker tips about lasers and other Maker subjects so I invite you to take a look at my YouTube channel for other tips and tricks.

https://goo.gl/accP5d

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