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 adding 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.
This plastic material comes in a number of different formats, and therefore we strongly recommend laser marking applications to determine the correct wavelength of laser for processing. Some of the materials used for cow tags, have laser receptive additives, and therefore (as with this example) mark very well. Other material types tend to mark well with CO2.
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.