Laser technology is one of the most advanced technologies, allowing it to be used in various manufacturing and industrial applications. In this context, if we talk about more evolutions of laser technology, we know that laser marking and engraving on plastics have also gathered a prominent position in laser technology. Laser marking and engraving have evolved into an appealing technology for identifying consumer goods made of plastic in various ways. It’s a low-cost and straightforward procedure.
As we know, electricity powers almost every aspect of our lives, including our homes, workplaces, and recreational activities. Wherever there is power, there are plastics. We wouldn’t operate without kitchen appliances like microwave ovens, kettles, and washing machines. White Plastics manufactures sanitary and attractive cooker knobs, door facings, and handles. Freezer liners and refrigerator handles, panels, and internal fittings. Washing machine housing panels and dishwasher. So, on these home appliances, we always see laser marking and engraving.
Lasers are frequently more cost-effective than a traditional pad and screen-printing process for high-resolution and permanent decoration of household appliances. Lasers are rapidly being utilized to add logos, part numbers, and user instructions to home appliances. Laser technology is now quite dependable, and it is frequently a less expensive alternative to ink-based decorating equipment. Laser marking has the added benefit of being more permanent than other decoration methods.
Laser marking also meets the growing demand for more data to be imprinted on ever-smaller plastic parts. Two-dimensional barcodes, for example, have been designed with ten times the data density of traditional barcodes. These 2D codes necessitate more accurate and higher-resolution marking than prior barcodes required. Another motivating element is environmental concerns. Laser marking does not need the use of inks or solvents, nor does it necessitate the energy-intensive drying processes associated with ink-marking systems.
Lasers permanently and flexibly label plastic components, but they are also incredibly environmentally and material friendly. Unlike traditional marking techniques, there are no consumables such as ink needed. On plastic surfaces, laser marks are always smeared and they are abrasion-resistant as well. The laser marking of polymers consists of three distinct processes: color variations, surface modifications, and layer deletion.
The key to laser marking on plastic is ensuring that the laser beam is sufficiently absorbed into the substance. Most of the shaft is shown in metals, whereas diffuse reflection, transmission, and absorption are more relevant in polymers. Plastics have a low heat conductivity, which means they lose very little energy throughout the marking process. As a result, plastics can be marked significantly more quickly than metals. Plastics’ macromolecular structure absorbs light in the ultraviolet and far-infrared ranges. Absorption occurs at different wavelength spectrums in additives like carbon black or dyes. Because lasers of various wavelengths can be tailored to the plastic materials.
Relying on the material, the laser frequency, and the preservatives employed, short-pulse lasers produce good results with various marking kinds. It is advised that laser-sensitive additives be mixed into some industrial polymers to obtain good legibility and keeping quality. The properties of plastics are primarily unaltered.
On the other side, relying on the application, the frequency of the laser plays an essential role in the marking and engraving of plastics. The spectrum of plastics that can be easily marked is expanded using solid-state lasers with a wavelength-doubled or tripled. Standard systems with frequencies of 1,064 or 1,030 nm frequently yield more remarkable results than these lasers.
Plastics are a material that many marking systems find challenging to work with. The long-term legibility of markings is the primary goal of marking systems, yet ink, for instance, has intrinsic constraints. Furthermore, not all plastic materials are created equal. Plastics have a wide range of characteristics and additives, necessitating specialized marking solutions. Lasers are far more adaptable to such obstacles, tolerating even minimal top soiling and allowing marking to begin quickly without the need for templates, as is the case with screen and pad printing procedures.
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