Moulded component used as part of a telephone console. Keys were marked with a variety of information tasks as you would expect on such a devise.
The Nd:YAG laser marking provided a high level of contrast on the part, along with a crisp clean image shape. The tooling design allowed for the operator to mark an array of parts during each laser marking process pass. The process time allowed for the unloading and loading of a second tool, effectively removing the load time delays.
There are a number of differing changes to the plastic material surface, during laser marking and it is very dependent on the material itself as to which one occurs.
- A thermochemical foaming, creating gas bubbles to the surface of the material, is the most common. The light scatters across the affected area producing the light marking that appears.
- Bleaching is another effect that is common. Here the pigment used to achieve the product colour is removed creating a visual difference.
- The third mechanism is vaporisation, where the material is heated very quickly, to the point where it vaporises and is removed leaving behind the created image.
These three laser marking effects can be enhanced by the adding of laser sensitive additives and can generate considerable advantages. The additive acts as an abortion barrier, boosting the ability of the laser to process better. In some materials the laser marking ability would not be possible without this additive.
The image is created by surface burn oxide forming, providing a reasonably high defined mark on the grey background. When the process is controlled and the burning is held at the correct levels no smudging occurs when handling the part. The heat created is localised and does not effect the product shape in any way.
If you would like further information on this laser marking application, or any other application, please request a call back, or talk to one of our laser marking specialists on 01737 826902.