Plastics are everywhere. They are in our phones, cars, and homes. And while we often take their durability and versatility for granted, they wouldn’t be so ubiquitous if they weren’t also incredibly useful.
One downside to using plastics, however, is that they can be difficult to mark with traditional methods like engraving or etching. This is where laser marking additives come in to achieve optimal marking performance.
In this blog post, we will discuss what laser marking additives are, how they work, and some of the benefits they offer.
What are laser additives for plastics?
Plastics don’t absorb laser light. Thus, laser marking additives are added to plastics to make them more responsive to laser energy. As a result, you can mark a wider range of plastics using laser technology.
For example, by adding a laser-sensitive additive to plastic, you can create high-contrast markings that people can easily see. These high-contrast markings are useful for identification purposes, the creation of warnings, and other information that needs to be highly visible.
In addition, by carefully selecting the right laser marking additive, it is possible to create markings that are resistant to fading, damage from sunlight, or other environmental factors. This makes them ideal for applications where the markings need to withstand long-term exposure to the elements.
The best way to select the right additive for your application is to work with a knowledgeable supplier who can help you understand the different options and make an informed decision.
How do laser marking additives work?
Laser marking additives are special chemicals that can be added to materials in order to make them more responsive to laser beams. When exposed to a laser beam, the molecules of the marking additive will absorb energy and heat up, causing them to break apart and evaporate.
This process can be used to create very precise markings on a variety of materials, including metals, plastics, and glass. One of the major benefits of laser marking additives is that they can be used to create markings that are permanent and cannot be removed or altered.
This makes them ideal for applications where it is important to maintain a product’s authenticity or prevent tampering. In addition, laser marking additives can be used to create markings that are visible only under certain conditions, such as ultraviolet light.
What benefits do they provide?
The benefits of laser additives have been known for some time, but recent studies are providing more insight into how these formulations can be used to improve productivity. In one study, a team of researchers from the University of Southern Mississippi and Clemson University found that by incorporating a laser additive formulation at very low concentration levels (0.01 percent to 0.02 percent), they were able to achieve faster marking speeds without compromising the quality of the mark.
Another study, conducted by a team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology and the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld, found that incorporating a laser additive formulation at low concentrations (0.01 percent to 0.05 percent) can improve productivity by up to 30 percent.
These studies demonstrate that there are significant benefits to be gained by incorporating laser additive formulations into plastics. For companies looking to improve their productivity, these findings provide valuable insight into how this can be achieved.
What types of plastics can be marked with laser marking additives?
Plastics that can be marked with laser marking additives include polycarbonate, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and polystyrene. The results of laser marking on these plastics depend on the type of plastic and the specific additive used. For example, some plastics may be marked with a white or frosted appearance, while others may be marked with a deep black or brown color. In general, laser marking additives provide a way to create high-contrast marks on plastics that are otherwise difficult to mark.
How do you choose the right laser marking additive for your application?
There are a few things to consider when choosing the right laser marking additive for your application. First, you need to consider the type of plastic that you will be marking. Second, you need to consider the specific results that you are looking for. Finally, you need to consider the cost of the additive and the compatibility with your laser system.
What are some of the most popular laser marking additives on the market?
Some of the most popular laser marking additives on the market include carbon black, titanium dioxide, and zinc sulfide. These additives can provide a variety of results, depending on the application. For example, carbon black is often used to create a deep black color on plastics, while titanium dioxide can provide a frosted appearance. Zinc sulfide is often used to create a bright white color on plastics.
When should you use laser marking additives?
Laser marking additives can be used for a variety of applications, including identification markings, barcodes, and logos. They can also be used for decorative purposes. In general, laser marking additives are most commonly used when it is important to create a high-contrast mark on a plastic surface.
If you’re looking for a way to create high-contrast marks on plastics, laser marking additives may be the right solution for you. Be sure to consider the type of plastic, the results you’re looking for, and the cost of the additive when making your decision. And, if you have any questions, be sure to ask a laser expert. They can help you choose the right additive for your application and ensure that you get the best results possible.
Are there any drawbacks to using laser marking additives for plastics?
Yes, there are a few drawbacks to using laser marking additives for plastics. One is that they can be expensive. Another is that they can sometimes cause problems with the clarity of the markings. Finally, they can sometimes make it difficult to remove the markings from the surface of the plastic. Overall, though, laser marking additives for plastics are a great way to create high-quality, permanent markings on plastic products.
If you’re interested in using laser marking additives for plastics, be sure to talk to your manufacturer or supplier about the best options for your project. With a little bit of research, you can find the perfect solution for your needs.
What is laser beam divergence in relation to laser additives on plastics?
When it comes to laser marking additives for plastics, one of the most important things to understand is the beam divergence. In a nutshell, beam divergence is the angle at which a laser beam spreads out from its source. The higher the beam divergence, the wider the angle at which the beam will spread.
There are two main types of divergence: angular divergence and spatial divergence. Angular divergence refers to the angle at which the beam spreads out, while spatial divergence refers to the actual width of the beam as it spreads out.
Generally speaking, higher-powered lasers will have a narrower beam and lower beam divergence. This is because more of the energy from the laser is concentrated in a smaller area. Lower-powered lasers, on the other hand, will have a wider beam and higher beam divergence.
The type of laser you use will ultimately determine the beam divergence. For example, CO₂ lasers have a very low beam divergence (less than 0.001 radians), while fiber lasers have a slightly higher beam divergence (between 0.001 and 0.01 radians).
When choosing a laser for your application, it’s important to consider the beam divergence. If you need a very fine, detailed mark, then you’ll need a laser with a low beam divergence.
How can you choose the right marking machine for your needs?
When it comes to laser marking additives for plastics, there are a few key factors you need to keep in mind. First and foremost amongst these is the type of additive you want to use. There are three primary types of additives used in laser marking: dyes, pigments, and photochromic compounds.
Dyes are absorbed into the plastic substrate, resulting in a change of color. Pigments are not absorbed into the substrate, but instead, sit on the surface and interact with light to create a color change. Photochromic compounds are molecules that change their structure when exposed to light, resulting in a color change.
Each type of additive has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your needs. For example, dyes are typically less expensive than pigments and photochromic compounds, but they can be more difficult to work with. Pigments, on the other hand, are easy to work with but may be more expensive.
Once you’ve decided on the type of additive you want to use, the next step is to choose the right laser marking machine for your needs. There are a variety of machines on the market, so it’s important to do your research and find the one that best suits your application.
If you’re looking for a high-quality, durable laser marker, then you’ll want to consider a machine that uses fiber laser technology. Fiber lasers are the most advanced type of laser on the market, and they’re capable of creating very precise markings.
If you need a machine that’s more affordable, then you may want to consider a CO₂ laser marker. CO₂ lasers are less expensive than fiber lasers, but they’re not as precise.
Finally, if you need a machine that’s both affordable and precise, then you’ll want to consider a diode laser marker. Diode lasers are the most affordable type of laser on the market, and they offer a good balance of affordability and precision.
Where can you find more information about laser additives for plastics?
There are a few different ways to find out more about laser marking additives for plastics. One way is to ask your plastics supplier if they offer any products with this feature. Another way is to research online or contact a local company that specializes in laser marking technologies. Finally, you can always ask us here at HeatSign! We would be happy to help you find the perfect laser marking additive for your plastics. Contact us today to learn more.
No matter what type of additive you’re using or what type of machine you need, it’s important to do your research and find the right one for your needs. With so many options on the market, you’re sure to find the perfect laser marking machine for your application.
If you have any questions about choosing the right laser marker for your needs, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to help!