Laser Marking Systems / Laser Markers
Laser Marking on Plastic
Direct Part Laser Marking on Plastic Parts
Laser marking is a reliable and cost-effective technique often used to mark plastic parts. By precisely laser etching plastic surfaces, this equipment produces permanent, high-quality marks. These markings also cause minimal distortion and are resistant to chemicals, abrasion, and extreme temperatures. Common plastics laser-marked include ABS, epoxy, and PET. When laser marking plastic products, the laser light does not penetrate the material. Instead, it chemically or thermally changes its surface according to the laser power intensity within the beam of light.
Laser markings may typically be seen in applications such as brand logos engraved on various appliances and portable electronics, part numbers printed on automotive parts such as brake calipers, or serial numbers etched onto medical tools. As a valuable tool for personalization and customization, laser marking plastic has proven to be a valuable option for manufacturers across numerous industries.
Dark Marking on Plastic
Dark marking on plastic is created by using laser radiation on typically lighter colored plastics to create beautiful, vivid contrasting markings. By using this technique, damage from marking the target is minimized.
White Marking on Plastic
White marking on plastic is created by using laser radiation on typically darker colored plastics to create beautiful, vivid contrasting markings. By using this technique, damage from marking the target is minimized.
White marking ABS connector
Transparent Plastic Laser Marking
Transparent marking on plastic is created by using laser radiation on transparent plastics that typically have a slight colorization to create beautiful, vivid contrasting markings. Highly dependent on the material compostion of these transparent parts, the markings can become darker or lighter once they have reacted with the absorbed laser marking beam.
Plastic Laser Processing
Plastic laser processing can consist of many different forms such as cutting, peeling, drilling, or cleaning. Some of these processes are used to provide better quality, others can eliminate the needs for chemicals or other solutions.
Plastic gate cutting
Major Types of Laser Marking on Plastic
When it comes to laser marking plastic, there are a few main types of processes to achieve the desired results.
Peel the paint or printing on the target surface to bring out the contrast with the color of the base material.
(Example) Automobile instrument panel switch
Paint peeling has risen in popularity due to its simplicity and convenience. For one, conventional methods (like printing and stamping) require full plate changeovers when a design change occurs. With a laser marker, you can adjust layouts by simply changing the program. For example, in the panel switch example above, if the manufacturer wanted to print on top of the panel switch, it would require custom printing plates. Laser marking makes this task easy as it simply peels the paint off, saving both time and money.
Surface layer peeling
Remove/engrave the surface layer with a laser.
(Example) Half cut
Surface layer peeling helps expose the hidden materials beneath our everyday layers, like paint, aluminite, and more. By removing these coatings with this process, a grounding point is created to better access what lies underneath. This enables new possibilities for creativity or problem-solving when it comes to marking on plastic surfaces.
A laser marker can be used to easily process a cutting section. Physical cutters are conventionally used in these scenarios, but they're difficult to adjust and time-consuming to change. Moreover, physical blades must be replaced often (incurring hard costs), and there's a risk that the blade will come loose and get left in the product.
Irradiate a plastic target with a laser to develop a color in the target itself.
(Example) Wide-area marking on LSI
Color development is used to create beautiful, vivid colors on plastic targets without causing any damage or engraving the material. This common technique allows for personalized customization with creative and unique designs. By using laser radiation to develop a color instead of engraving the plastic, damage from marking the target is minimized.
Use the heat of laser radiation to weld and join plastic parts.
(Example) Welding of transparent plastic and colored plastic
Laser radiation welding offers a reliable and efficient way to join plastic parts, with the added benefit of no vibration, which could negatively affect the product's quality. Without making contact during the process, delicate products remain untouched, eliminating any potential imperfections or damages that may occur due to burrs.
Whatever techniques are chosen, laser marking adds clarity, precision and visibility, making it an ideal choice for long-term results on plastic applications.