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Laser Marking of Plastics

Color Change, Foaming or Engraving

Laser marking of polymers relies on carbonization or foaming processes caused by laser beam absorption. 

 

Carbonization and Foaming
Laserbeschriften

Carbonization and Foaming

Carbonization (a thermochemical process) produces dark marks. Foaming, a partial degradation creating gas-bubbles with in the material, scatters the light and produces light marks. Additives can help improving absorption properties. Applicable laser sources are Nd: YAG-, Nd: Vanadate- or fiber lasers.

 

Photochemical Processes
Laserbeschriften

Photochemical Processes

 

 

 

Harmonic wavelengths of 532 nm (green) and 355 nm (UV) can be used for bleaching and photo reduction processes. UV-induced photo reduction is often called „cold marking“, as there is no noticeable heating of the material.

 

 

 

Plastics with Additives
Source: Merck KGaA

Plastics with Additives

The use of laser-sensitive additives in plastics can generate considerable advantages. Additives in plastics are able to increase outline sharpness and contrast and thus boost  readability of  the marking contents e.g. of machine-readable codes. Used with transparent and semi-transparent materials, additives lead to a uniform contrast dispersal. Additives in plastics increase the diversity of product colors and are of crucial importance for the markability of certain materials.

Features at a Glance

  • No pre- and post-processing
  • Durable, high-contrast markings
  • Intact surfaces (color change)
  • Fast compared to mechanical marking techniques
  • Very small line widths realizable
  • Flexible, individualized marking content
  • Suitable for areas difficult to access
Product recommendation

Product recommendation

For this application we recommend the laser markers: PowerLine E Air Serie, PowerLine E Serie, PowerLine F 20/F 30.