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Cutting of polystyrene foam


We have a customer who uses a extruded polystyrene foam inside a 
structure that they put together. Currently the foam is cut with a blade which 
generates a dust that tends to stick to the foam. They have to spend 
excessive time cleaning the foam dust from the parts which increases 
production time. They do have a dust collector but apparently the majority of 
the foam dust tends to stick to the foam instead of being sucked up by the 

I am hypothesizing that when the foam is cut that a static charge is set-up 
and this causes the foam dust to attach itself. Someone had suggested 
using heat blades to cut the foam but I find that impractical because of the 
styrene generated by the cutting.

Is there a way to cut the foam without generating excessive clean-up time? I 
was suggesting that they spray the foam with anti-static spray like you buy 
in the grocery store to see if that would reduce the sticking foam dust.

Switching foam at this time is out due to the rapid increase in their business  
over the last month and they are trying to meet demand for their product (a 
future consideration).

Thank you.


Kirsten M. Koepsel
Registered Patent Agent
Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center
7300 Jack Newell Blvd., South
Fort Worth, TX  76118

817-307-0595 (cell)
817-272-5977 (fax)
kkoepsel@arri.uta.edu (e-mail)