One of the most widely used materials, plastics are routinely laser engraved to satisfy a number of needs. From traceability and batch coding applications to branding and purely aesthetic marking, laser engraving plastic is a popular marking solution.
Engraving vs Marking Plastics
While the terms engraving and marking are often used interchangeably, and of course engraving does leave a mark on the product, there is an important difference when it comes to plastics. All plastics can be engraved with a CO2 laser but not all plastics can be marked in other ways.
Engraving does not generally provide a contrasting color change and is frequently not crisp. When marking plastics with a fiber laser the goal is to create a contrasting mark on the surface of the plastic without engraving into it or melting it. Ideally, the marking results in a contrasting light-colored mark on dark plastics and a contrasting dark colored mark on light plastics. Not all plastics are suitable for marking with fiber lasers.
Because of the prevalence of plastics for all types of products it is not always clear what the exact composition of any given plastic is. In fact, it is fairly common for a customer to have a plastic part and a type of mark that needs to be made on it without knowing anything about the specific composition of the part. When this is the case it is often best to utilize an experienced job shop or manufacturer who can conduct the testing necessary to ensure the correct laser system and settings are used for optimal results.
Laser Engraving Plastic Applications
We’ve laser marked many types of plastic with many types of marks over the years. You can check out some of our applications below to see a sampling of the variety of marks that can be laser engraved onto a plastic substrate.
All Langolier fiber laser marking systems are supplied with Prolase, a user friendly, proven, robust laser marking software package very easy to use for importing and manipulating graphics files for brands, logos, and schematic files.
Contact Jimani and see what they can do for you with a state of the art laser marking system.