Marking Machines for Quality Acrylic Marking Process
Acrylic engraving is an essential process in manufacturing industries that deals with the use of acrylic products. It provides a means for product identification during manufacturing and traceability along the production line. Therefore, acrylic engraving and other marking processes are delicate processes that require the right equipment.
At HeatSign, you can get access to the best machines that ensure quality turnaround. Below are some high-quality machines you can consider.
HS-CL30 Galvo CO2- Laser Marker
HS-CL30 Galvo CO2 laser marking machine is a cost-effective, high-quality, efficient, and effective machine that can form permanent marking on materials using lasers. This machine has an air cooling system that eradicates the need for maintenance.
The HS-Portable Handheld Inkjet Printer can be used to tag a wide variety of products. This portable quality printer is easy to use, and it reduces the long hours involved in waiting to label your materials. This printer has a quick mode of operation, and it is also portable.
Acrylic marking is a set of marking processes used in making clear and visible patterns on acrylic surfaces. Consequently, the markings produced aid easy identification and traceability of product parts.
While it might look complicated due to the nature of the material, acrylic marking is a fairly straightforward process. Therefore, to understand the processes involved in marking acrylic materials, this article analyzes acrylic marking. It introduces acrylic and the various marking processes machine you need. It also talked about how to choose the right acrylic marking processes and machines. By going through this article, you will understand how the different marking techniques work and how to make the necessary decision.
What is Acrylic?
Acrylics or methyl methacrylate are synthetic plastics that are derivatives of acrylic acids. At an elevated temperature, it can mold and solidifies on cooling. Therefore, acrylic materials are transparent thermo-softening or thermoplastic. They are useful in making shatter-proof substitute products for glass, lenses, nails, paints, security barriers, medical devices, etc.
Types of Acrylic Materials
There are majorly two types of acrylics used in industries. Knowing your chosen acrylic can also undergo engraving processes.
· Cast Acrylic
Cast acrylic is a thick, lightweight, and rigid type of acrylic. It has a low water absorption level but boasts of excellent optical properties and exposure to sunlight.
· Extrude Acrylic
Extruded acrylic is also lightweight and rigid. However, unlike cast acrylic, they are thermoformable and have better impact resistance than glass.
Properties of Acrylic Materials
Acrylic materials are applicable in many manufacturing industries instead of glass based on their properties. Below are some important properties of the material:
They are transparent glass material.
Acrylic material is stiff and has high strength.
They have similar characteristics to glass (transparency, brilliance, and clarity) but are a little lighter than glass.
It is more durable and possesses aesthetic characteristics.
Acrylic has more impact resistance than ordinary glass.
It has high resistance to different variations of temperature.
Processes Suitable for Acrylic Marking
Due to the nature of acrylic, many presume that acrylic marking will not be straightforward. However, acrylic marking can be as easy as the English alphabet. Below are the marking processes that you can utilize in marking any product made from acrylic materials.
Acrylic engraving involves using a laser beam from a laser marking machine to remove part of the acrylic material. This will lead to marking, sometimes seen as a variety of high-quality white and clear acrylic designs. The success of acrylic engraving depends on the settings of the laser engraving machine. For acrylic engraving, it is better to engrave at low power and immense speed. This is because there is lesser consumption of power and more importantly, the absence of high power will not distort the product.
Acrylic engraving is a good method because of the following:
Acrylic marking is possible with materials with a low thickness (25mm) with minimal cost
Acrylic Laser engraving on acrylic can reach even the unusual places of the material with ease and freedom.
It gives a clear and fascinating finish job.
Types of Acrylic Engraving Machine You Can Use
There are different types of acrylic engraving machines you can use. Each has its method of laser engraving and limitations. Below are the two common acrylic engraving machines you can use.
· C02 Laser Systems
CO2 laser machines use CO2 mixtures for marking processes. They are ideal for laser engraving acrylic products because they guarantee a reduction in production time.
· UV Laser Marking Machine
The UV laser marking systems are important in laser engraving acrylic products due to their generation of little or no heat. The laser only weakens the bond between the material surface and marks it. Due to the little or no heat it produces, it is very compatible with acrylic marking.
Fiber laser marking machines are not suitable for acrylic-based products. However, some engineers do use the MOPA fiber laser marking machine, although it also is not compatible with all acrylic materials. Therefore, if possible, consider the above laser marking machines.
Laser etching is an acrylic marking method that uses a laser beam to create marks on products by melting their surface. When etching acrylic surfaces, it melts and expands because of the heat from the high burst of energy from the laser beam. Consequently, it produces a raised mark.
Acrylic etching like acrylic engraving creates permanent markings on acrylic surfaces like logos, data matrix codes, serial numbers, and barcodes. Laser etching is preferable for acrylic marking due to the following reasons:
Laser etching is the fastest laser marking technique capable of delivering more than twice the output of other laser processes.
The method is a suitable method for acrylic marking as it requires less energy to make laser-etched acrylic products
Laser etching is a permanent marking process with high readability. Consequently, laser-etched acrylic product high readability through its useful life
A laser-etched acrylic surface can also endure non-abrasive coating treatments like powder coating, heat treating, and e-coating.
It can generate various shades of laser-etched acrylic markings for better contrast and quality.
The inkjet marking method is a process that uses digital printers to create spectacular details on the acrylic using inks. This marking method allows you to imprint high-resolution full-color prints on acrylic materials using inkjet printers like the portable handheld inkjet printer.
Inkjet printing is an ideal acrylic marking method based on the following reason:
Inkjet print on acrylic produces a low mechanical impact on materials.
It is the best in terms of aesthetics when thinking of acrylic marking.
It is an environmentally friendly process
Inkjet printing can produce prints on large size acrylic sheets. Before you commence printing, it is necessary to remove the adhesive protective covering over the acrylic sheet to ensure you have a clean material after printing. The pattern marked on the acrylic is uploaded to the inkjet printer and printed directly on the acrylic sheet.
How to Choose the Right Acrylic Marking Method for You?
Choosing the right acrylic marking process can be a tough decision. However, with the factors listed above, you should select a suitable acrylic marking procedure. Below are four essential factors to consider before selecting a suitable acrylic marking method for your acrylic parts.
· Type of Acrylic Material
Knowing the acrylic material, you are working on can help you decide the right acrylic marking process. For example, acrylic engraving is a good choice for cast acrylic. This is due to the ease of removing the surface material and how it becomes frosty white after engraving (which shows readability).
A suitable marking process is dependent on your production requirement. If you change marking patterns quite often, the acrylic engraving method is an excellent choice because you can change patterns easily on the software. Therefore, making this a flexible option.
The investment cost for each marking method plays a considerable role in the acrylic marking method you can use. Laser marking methods such as acrylic engraving may cost higher than an inkjet, considering the running cost of scanning equipment and laser beams. However, always base your choice on the pattern and quality you want to achieve in your production process.
· Production Speed
If you are short on time on production, choosing a marking method with faster output in a short amount of time is necessary. The acrylic engraving or laser etching technique can improve production time.
Get the Best in Terms of Acrylic Marking
Acrylic plays a significant role in manufacturing various products in an industrial setting. It is an essential material of use in the automotive, aerospace, medical and engineering industries for many reasons. For example, it is applicable in the automotive part industries for making windshields. Choosing the right acrylic marking process can be challenging. Therefore, this article discussed acrylic, its properties, the different marking methods you can use, and how to select the right method. Are you in need of a high-quality acrylic marking process? With HeatSign, you will have access to the best. We can provide you with the best acrylic marking machines which ensure quality markings on your acrylic product.