A laser machine can engrave and mark plastics in a variety of ways depending on the type of system being used. With a fiber laser system, you can mark many types of commercial grade plastics, such as ABS, polycarbonate, polyamide, and many others efficiently and with a permanent and high-quality finish. A Trotec marking laser allows for quick set-up times and fast processing speeds, which means you can mark even the smallest batches economically.
- Polyamide (PA)
- Polycarbonate (PC)
- Polyethylene (PE)
- Polypropylene (PP)
- Polyoxymethylene (POM)
- Polyarylsulfone (PSU, PPSU)
- Poly ether ketone (PEEK)
- Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer (ABS)
- Polyimide PI
- Polystyrene PS
- Polymethylmetacrylate PMMA
- Polyester (PES)
- Polyethylene terephthalate PET
Most types of plastics will be the ideal material for creating permanent laser engravings, however, the various raw materials, additives and color pigments (i.e. fillers, flame retardants, additives) will react differently.
When laser marking plastics, a fiber laser will allow you to process a various techniques from dyeing, foaming or carbonating. You should always test a material sample prior to processing a full batch, since each plastic type will react very differently to laser technology.
- Automotive parts
- Buttons/switches with day and night design
- Electronic components
- Electric plugs
- Housings made of plastic
- Pet ID tags
- Printed circuit boards (PCB)
- Tools & tool handles
- Fast and non-contact laser marking results in a finished product that is heat, abrasion and acid resistant.
- Compatible with most types of plastics, which can be engraved, marked or laser cut
- Create serial numbers, logos, codes, as well as fully dynamic content including ERP systems, etc.
- Laser mark even the tiniest components and hard to access areas in a quick and efficient manner, while still producing fine details.
Foaming produces a tangible mark on materials from melting the surface, similar to the concept of laser-induced boiling. During the rapid cooling processes, bubbles become encapsulated in the material resulting in a noticeable mark.
The laser machine operates using a lower power level with longer pulses. Foaming is most commonly used with some metals as well as polymers, depending on whether the material is lighter or darker in color.
Carbonizing is a processing technique where the laser warms the material surface (minimum 100° C) and hydrogen, oxygen or a combination of both gases are emitted. This leaves a darkened area with higher carbon concentration, allowing for a strong contrast on bright surfaces.
The laser machine operates with reduced energy, which requires slightly longer marking times compared to other marking methods and processes. Carbonizing can be used on polymers or bio-polymers such as leather and wood, but will be rather unnoticeable with darker materials since carbonizing produces a darker mark.
Color changing on a material will result in the highest level of legibility, and is done so with a laser through an electrical process of reordering the macromolecules (changing of direction). Ultimately, no physical material is removed, however, a partial foaming is possible.
The laser machine uses a maximum pulse rate and at a low energy per pulse, which allows for no material to be removed or foaming to occur. Most color changes result in a dark appearance, however, color changes work on all polymers and the change may be dark or bright.
Removing layers of material is commonly used with multilayer plastics, such as laminates. During the removal process, the laser beam extracts the top layers which is applied to the base material, resulting in contrasting colors from the various material layers.