Your browser is out of date.

You are currently using Internet Explorer 7/8/9, which is not supported by our site. For the best experience, please use one of the latest browsers.

Carbonization / Foaming

Can plastic be laser marked?

Some lasers are capable of marking plastic. The right laser for you will depend on the type of plastic you are marking and whether or not you are marking other materials in addition to plastic. For example, a CO2 laser is great for marking a variety of different plastics. However, if you also want to mark metal, an infrared or green fiber laser could be a better option, depending on the type of plastic you are marking.

Understanding your needs and the capabilities of laser sources is important when choosing your laser. This is especially true when laser marking plastic as there are more variables to consider than when laser marking metal. However, we can help you make sense of your options and find the right laser for you. Give us a call at 800-323-1332 to discuss your applications and our laser options.

Contact Us
Marking Plastic


Lasers may produce different types of marks on plastics. Here are the most common types.

Laser Carbonization

Carbonization is a thermo-chemical laser marking process that produces high-contrast marks on synthetic polymers. Laser carbonization is typically performed on light and clear polymers and result in a dark or gray laser mark. 


Laser Foaming, sometimes also referred to as frothing, occurs when the laser beam heats the surface of a plastic that contains carbon. The heat causes oxidized gas bubbles (i.e., foam) to form in the top layer, resulting in a raised mark.


Vaporization is essentially laser engraving plastic. The heat from the laser causes the plastic to melt, leaving a groove in the plastic after it cools.

need a custom solution?

Our in-house design and engineering department has a full range of services and support to ensure that your marking application is successful.



At GT SCHMIDT, we design, build, and implement marking solutions that help manufacturers leave a lasting mark on their products, their companies, and their industries.

Learn More About Us
made in usa since 1895
125 years of experience
installation & follow-up support