Laser Marking on Plastics
Most plastics contain synthetic polymers, which are based on chains of carbon atoms either alone or bonded with other compounds. Common synthetic polymers include nylon, Teflon, mylar, PVC, PET, PTFE and PS.
Laser marking on synthetic polymers is best achieved with carbonization or the foaming process.
Carbonization is a thermo-chemical laser marking process that can produce high contrast marks on synthetic polymers. Typically performed on light and clear polymers resulting in a dark or gray laser mark. Laser carbonization can also be performed on organic carbon containing materials such as paper, cardboard and wood.
What types of laser sources are used for laser carbonization?
- Fiber and CO2 lasers are best for marking and engraving on most synthetic polymers and organics such as wood, paper and cardboard.
- Green and UV lasers are best for laser marking on sensitive materials like semiconductors, electronics, medical supplies, and glass
Laser Foaming, sometimes also referred to as frothing, occurs when the laser beam heats the surface of the carbon containing plastic, causing oxidized gas bubbles to form in the top layer. The result is a raised mark.
What types of laser sources are used for laser foaming?
- CO2 lasers are best for foaming applications on harder plastics polymers.