Plastics processors have another unique tool to help their customers deliver innovative products to the marketplace. Fast and environmentally clean laser marking has become commonplace in basic marking of dates and product codes and is capable of a lot more. The market continues to grow with numerous decorative effects available with today's wide range of laser-markable resins, pigmentation technology, and laser equipment.
Today's laser-marking pigment and additive systems can provide contrasting colors and degrees of shading. Technical advances in laser equipment over the last decade have been followed by development of more laser-markable grades of resins as well as custom colorant and additive packages for use with a variety of plastics from polyolefins and ABS to polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyesters, polycarbonate, nylons, acetal, and thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs).
Laser marking also satisfies the growing need to imprint greater amounts of data on ever-smaller plastic parts. Environmental issues are another driving force. Laser marking uses no inks or solvents, and doesn’t require the energy-intensive drying steps typical of ink-marking. Product traceability has become a major driving force behind this technology. Key requirements include product identity information and operating instructions that last throughout the product's life.
Plastics can be marked by various types of laser if formulated with the right selection of additives. Leading formulators or masterbatch suppliers such as Plastics Color provide knowledge about the resin, end-use application, and type of graphics required. Certain plastics such as HDPE and polycarbonate may mark very well in some colors using certain lasers without help from any special additives. On the other hand, formulations may require special additives in order to facilitate laser marking of certain products.
Plastics Color is a specialist in the use of pigments and additives and works closely with processors and brand owners to create aesthetically pleasing end products. We can custom formulate a functional additive package to meet the requirements of your laser-markable application. Need help? Send us your questions at Info@PlasticsColor.com.