Laser marking is the process of using a laser to put a chemical mark on paper, plastic, metal, stone, or any other substance for that matter. This process is a technology used in various areas, including sign painting, bottle labels, and audiovisual services. It is a flexible method of marking.
What laser marking can be used?
In most applications, laser marking on plastic creates unique shapes that will stand out from the background. Laser marking can be used to create 3D designs that people will find difficult to reproduce.
For instance, laser marking can be used to create signatures that people will remember.
How does laser marking work?
A laser beam is firing at an object. This laser beam can either be directed using a computer or by using a gun-like device. A laser beam is reflected in the laser source.
Laser marking uses red light, making the light visible in a laser beam but invisible to the human eye. The laser light is divided into rays that are passing over.
Advantages of laser marking on plastic
Laser marking can be done at almost any distance and can produce excellent results. A printer usually works with a camera-laser printer that usually shoots at an X-Y position.
It is typical to have two types of lasers:
- UHV (ultra high-visibility) and industrial
- UV (higher ultraviolet)
UHV has a wavelength that is too short to be used for ordinary printing, so to have it, the laser must be set on a high power lens, while for a UV, the laser must have a relatively large power. There are also digital printers, which typically are used to transmit digital information to paper.
Electronic marking techniques are used to mark products that need permanent identification. One of the advantages of this technique is that even if a product is destroyed or changed in many ways, a laser can still identify it.
Here, we will show you some of the main disadvantages of laser marking.
Manufacturers considering the use of a digital printer in particular need to be aware of the following.
How does plastic laser marking work?
The technology of laser marking on plastic is based on the same principle as conventional photo-finishing techniques.
A unique infrared or laser source produces a direct but non-destructive line of write-on dots or letters on a surface.
As the method has no equivalent to solvent or air (or other solvents), there is no risk of writing on the manufactured substrate.
The laser source does not emit light only by a layer of ink but also by the traditional photolithography process.
This method can generate a much more comprehensive array of dots with minimal and precisely defined angles, both flat and curved surfaces.
With the high-speed rotary system, the dot moving holes can be formed very quickly. The target surface thus produced will have a characteristic waveform, also known as a “matrix.”
To increase the accuracy of the printout, a unique surface with high optical clarity, known as a “coupled diamond substrate.
Plastic laser marking
Plastic laser marking works in a variety of machines, systems and materials. It can be a versatile method and is one of the most popular choices for custom plastic parts, moulds, and tools.
There is a wide variety of choices when it comes to marking plastic components, materials and applications. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
High-performance additive systems
High-performance liquid dyes (HPDLs) have many potential advantages over traditional liquid organic dyes, both in terms of service life and in the accuracy of colour calibration.
HPLC provide up to two times higher optical contrast than traditionally used organic dyes. Furthermore, their low speed of fading can be seen as an advantage, as it can reduce the need for regular maintenance and cleaning.
HPLC can be produced in a wide range of colours, including the commonly used CMYK colouration. Once printed on plastic, HPDL dyes can remain stained in place for many months before fading.