Laser Processing of Rogers Corporation™ PORON® 4701-30


Rogers Corporation™ PORON® 4701-30 is a semi-closed urethane polymer foam with high compression-set resistance. The material is UL certified for flame resistance without the use of added chemicals, making it an environmentally friendly material for applications requiring extreme flexibility and durability. PORON 4701-30 is available in three different densities 240kg/m3, 320kg/m3, and 400kg/m3. Each density of PORON 4701-30 is available in a variety of thicknesses ranging from 0.79 millimeters to 12.70 millimeters. The 1.57 millimeter thick, 320kg/m3 density PORON 4701-30 foam was selected for laser testing. A diagram of the PORON 4701-30 material is shown in Figure 1.
Rogers PORON 4701-30 Layers

Figure 1. PORON 4701-30 diagram showing the consistent nature of the 1.57mm thick foam.

PORON 4701-30 foam is highly compressible making it challenging to process with conventional mechanical methods. The non-contact nature of laser processing overcomes this difficulty and allows the processing of PORON 4701-30 foam without mechanically deforming the material. Universal Laser Systems makes it simple to consistently and repeatedly process this material to a high degree of dimensional accuracy with virtually no material deformation during processing.

Laser Processing Notes

PORON 4701-30 foam was tested to assess laser processing compatibility and to determine the most favorable laser configuration. For laser cutting, the PORON 4701-30 foam absorbs 9.3µm energy more efficiently than other wavelengths, producing an edge with minimal heat effects. Utilizing a higher peak laser power allows for a faster motion system travel speed, which reduces the amount of laser dwell time while laser cutting the material, further reducing the heat-affected zone. With the configuration of 150 watts of 9.3µm laser energy, laser cutting PORON 4701-30 foam produces a consistent edge along the processed path. Due to the cellular nature of this product, air pockets exposed during laser cutting make the edge rough when viewed under magnification. A microscopy image taken at 300x of the PORON 4701-30 edge is shown in Figure 2.
Rogers PORON 4701-30 Figure 2

Figure 2. Microscopy image (300x) of the edge after laser cutting PORON 4701-30. The heat-affected zone measures 70µm.

PORON 4701-30 was also tested with an alternate system configuration of 10.6µm laser energy for viability. The comparison of these two system configurations is listed in tabular form in Table 1. Both system configurations appear viable.

Table 1. System Configuration Comparison

System ConfigurationHeat-Affected ZoneProcess CharacteristicsPost-Processing Requirements
9.3µmSimilar heat-affected zone of approximately 70µm can be expected with both configurations The 9.3µm laser energy configuration produces a clean, consistent edge with minimal heat-affected zone along the processed path Processing of PORON 4701-30 with either the 9.3µm or 10.6µm configuration did not require additional post-processing
10.6µmSimilar heat-affected zone of approximately 70µm can be expected with both configurationsSimilar characteristics to the 9.3µm configuration; however the 10.6µm laser energy is not absorbed as effectively by this material, requiring a reduction in processing speed of approximately 30% if using the equivalent laser power
Processing Example

PORON 4701-30 applications requiring fine geometry and intricate detail without degrading the physical properties of the material can be accomplished with Universal Laser Systems technology. An example demonstrating the results of laser cutting PORON 4701-30 material is shown in Figure 5.
Rogers PORON 4701-30 Figure 3

Figure 5. Example of the geometry possible with laser cutting PORON 4701-30.


PORON 4701-30 is suitable for laser processing and was extensively tested to determine the best processing configuration. Through this testing it was determined that laser cutting is viable for this material and that the 150 watt 9.3µm CO2 laser is the best configuration. The PORON 4701-30 absorbs 9.3µm wavelength laser energy efficiently to produce a straight, consistent edge that has minimal heat effects and discoloration. Additionally, acceptable results can be achieved by laser cutting this material with a 10.6µm laser source.