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Plastics Laser Marking

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Plastics Laser Marking

Plastics Laser Marking

Industrial Laser Marking of Plastics

Plastics laser marking provides numerous advantages and benefits. Laser marking plastics is a noncontact digital process in which information and graphics are indelible applied onto a plastic surface with minimal material penetration. Breakthrough laser additives blended into plastics produces superior laser marking contrast for use with laser sources NIR wavelength 1060-1080nm Ytterbium fiber, Vanadate, frequency-doubled 532nm Green and UV 355nm. The laser process terms “laser marking”, “laser etching”, “laser engraving” are often interchanged, however the technical aspects have important distinctions. Degree of depth is the primary distinguishing factor.


What is important when marking plastics?

Plastics are materials that pose several challenges to many marking systems. The main objective of marking systems is the long-term legibility of markings, but ink, for example, has inherent limitations. Moreover, not all plastics are the same. The varying properties and additives in plastics often require individualized marking solutions. Lasers are much more flexible in coping with such challenges, tolerating even minor surface soiling, and able to begin marking immediately without having to first create templates, which is required, for example, by screen and pad printing processes.

The key to laser marking plastics is achieving sufficient absorption of the laser beam into the material. In metals, most of the beam is reflected, while in plastics, transmission, diffuse reflection, and absorption are more important. The low heat conductivity in plastics means low energy losses during marking. Plastics can therefore be marked much faster than metals. Absorption by the macromolecular structure of plastics is usually in the ultraviolet and far infrared range. In additives such as carbon black or dyes, absorption occurs at varying wavelength spectrums. Since lasers with different wavelengths are available, the wavelength can be optimized for the respective material.

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