Laser marking black plastic difference mopa fiber

More possibilities for laser marking plastics

Published on: 01/24/2017 Author: Bernd Kerbl

More possibilities for laser marking plastics

Fiber lasers allow you to mark a wide range of plastics, and due to the different chemical compositions the results can vary between plastics. Whilst very good results can be achieved on some plastics when laser marking with a fiber laser, others are less homogeneous  or rich in contrast. Laser marking many of these plastics with a MOPA laser source, especially dark plastics such as PA 66 GF, PA 6 GF, PP GF, can often create a much lighter mark. The MOPA laser offers a big advantage over the traditional fiber laser thanks to adjustable pulse durations, which offers more options when selecting laser parameters. This can not only lead to better quality marking but also better contrasts and other benefits for the above mentioned plastics. 

During the laser marking the material is heated, which results in the colour of many plastics changing (by carbonising or changing colour) resulting in a contrast created by laser marking. Traditional fiber lasers feature a relatively long pulse duration, which can cause materials to boil or burn or foaming in some plastics. The MOPA laser is the perfect solution for these plastics.

More information about MOPA laser

Adjustable pulse durations with MOPA technology

Thanks to the short pulses, which can be variably adjusted (between 4 and 200 ns) with the MOPA laser, and thanks to the low pulse energy, the surrounding material is less heated. This results in less burning and foaming. Especially on dark plastics, the shorter pulses can often produce “nicer”, lighter laser markings, resulting in a better contrast and thus better machine readability.

These dark plastics are characterised by a high reactivity to the laser beam. Thus, short pulses with relatively little heating of the material are necessary and sufficient here. In addition, there are also plastics that require more energy to sufficiently foam or boil up the material. Here, both a conventional fiber laser with longer pulse durations and high pulse energies and the MOPA technology are suitable. With the MOPA laser, even longer pulses are possible, whereby the controlled foaming can be optimised.

Trotec marking laser

All laser systems of the SpeedMarker series are now also available with MOPA Laser. Depending on the requirements and the application, you can choose between laser workstations in different sizes, a table marking station or an open class 4 system.

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One laser - many possibilities

Higher-contrast and more homogeneous marking of dark plastics is, however, only one application example where the MOPA laser can display its strengths. Even when marking metals such as e.g. steel (reproducible colors on stainless steel) or aluminum (black marking on aluminum), the all-rounder outperforms conventional fiber lasers.

More possibilities for laser marking

Contact us for more information

Would you like to learn more about the advantages and possibilities of MOPA lasers? Or would you like to laser mark your plastics? Our application experts will be pleased to assist you and answer your questions about your applications.

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