I restore vintage wireless sets and need to replace some perished rubber thermionic valve (tube) retainers. They are like long (dogbone shaped) rubber bands (that have a hole in the centre for the top ‘pip’ of the glass to locate in) and a hole at each end to loop over hooks either side of the valve base.
The material is thicker round these holes than elsewhere and would be a perfect candidate for laser etching/engraving to achieve the different thickness profiles. They also have manufacturer’s logos moulded along the length that could be incorporated into the engraving process. Finally the overall shape could then be laser cut from the rubber sheet.
However they need to be stretchy and vendors of ‘laserable rubber’ (for ink stamps) tell me their rubber is NOT stretchy.
So my questions are:-
Has anyone used a safe stretchy laserable rubber that would be suitable for my restoration project?
Does silicone rubber laser etch/cut or will it break/split when slightly stretched?
I need something like rubber car tyre innertube 3mm thick but that I can safely laser cut/engrave.
Thanks in anticipation…