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Materials for laser marking

In their natural state, thermoplastic polymers can be subdivided into three categories in function of the reaction to the laser:

Thermoplastic polymers with good absorption and carbonization which produce extensive blackening in the area exposed to the laser, which happens with PES, PSU, PC, PPS.

Thermoplastic polymers with inconsistent absorption and carbonization which is shown by discontinuous marking (bead effect) as happens with PS, SAN, ABS, PET and PBT. If appropriate pigments or special additives are added, these materials can be marked uniformly and with good quality.

For both of the previous groups, the optimization of the additive/pigment package in the case of dark backgrounds can permit a light-coloured marking.
Thermoplastic polymers with low absorption in this group are PA, POM, PP, PE. In a natural non-pigmented colour, these resins are not laserable. With the use of a system optimized with pigments, it is possible to obtain a contrast of a light colour on dark or black substrates. Some of these polymers, pigmented in light colours, generate a light-coloured trace, but with the use of special additives, a good contrast can be obtained.

Laser Marking on Thermoplastics

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