Laser Engraving Plastics

Our experience and tools allow us to mark a variety of plastics.

  • MOPA fiber lasers are ideal for most plastics
  • Green and UV lasers are available for specialized plastic marking applications
laser engraving plastic
laser engraving plastic

Discover Laser Marking Machines for Plastic

Our tools use a variety of laser wavelengths to mark most plastics.

Many plastics can be marked using standard, nanosecond-pulsed MOPA fiber lasers; however, some plastics require UV or green laser technology to achieve optimum results. 

From Polypropylene to Polyethylene — It’s Not a Problem

Polypropylene is a common, durable, low-cost plastic used in a variety of component types. 

  • Mark black automotive components
  • Etch medical device components
Polypropylene connector laser engraving

Recommended Solutions for Plastic

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laser engraving plastic

Ideal Machines for Laser Marking Plastics

TYKMA Electrox laser systems are capable of marking on a wide variety of materials and substrates, including ABS plastic. Facilities that are looking for an efficient, reliable system for marking, engraving, and etching ABS plastic should review the lengthy list of product options we can provide.

The Best Solution for Laser Engraving Polyethylene

Searching for a laser engraving machine that will work with polyethylene? Look no further than the laser engraving systems from TYKMA Electrox. Let’s look at specifics for polyethylene along with our recommended system for marking it, the Vereo UV Integration Laser.

laser engraving plastic

The Absolute Best Customer Service Around

Since we plugged it in it’s been working nonstop. Cut our production engraving times in half!

Michael Sigouin, Blowndeadline Custom Cerakote

It has been one of the best purchases we have ever made.

Adam Spiess, AMS Seals Inc.

The lasers we have purchased from TYKMA Electrox are very well engineered and nicely finished products.

Arthur Jones, Director of Manufacturing, Royal Products

Premier Systems for Laser Marking Plastic

If you’re looking for high-quality, reliable systems for laser etching and laser marking plastic, TYKMA Electrox has the perfect solutions.

But our systems aren’t just ideal for plastic laser etching, because they can also be used on surfaces like metal, carbide, anodized and painted materials, along with other substrates. So if you’re seeking out a robust, all-purpose marking and etching system, choose one from TYKMA Electrox.

Solutions for Laser Marking on Plastics

Plastics are ubiquitous in our culture, being found in millions of products in our homes, our cars, and at our places of work. Because of their widespread use, companies have realized the great need for laser systems to mark and etch these plastics with serial numbers, barcodes, company logos and many other important symbols.

One important aspect to keep in mind when working with plastics is the different kind of ways a laser marking system can be used with the material. Let’s take a look at three key approaches:

  • Laser marking – This approach utilizes a laser beam to interact with a material’s surface, creating a slightly changed appearance. Through a process of discoloration, oxidation under the surface of the material turns the surface black or dark gray while leaving the overall surface intact.
  • Laser engraving – This method features the removal of a portion of the material’s surface by the laser beam, allowing an exposed cavity to be formed. By utilizing a higher level of heat, the material to be removed is vaporized on contact. The marking of serial numbers and logos on surfaces often utilize this process.
  • Laser etching – This technique is a subset of laser engraving and can be performed on diverse materials, such as polymers, metals, and ceramics. During the process, the laser beam uses high heat to melt the surface of the material. This melted material expands to form a raised mark, resulting in a permanent engraving.

For a more detailed, in-depth look at these various processes, be sure to check out our blog post discussing marking, engraving and etching differences.

Foaming and Color Change for Plastics

One particular form of laser marking on plastics is by way of what is called “foaming” or color change. During this type of laser marking, the plastic utilized is subjected to a controlled burn.

The end result of this procedure is a fairly smooth surface with minimal penetration of that surface. A tan, white or dark-colored mark is left upon the surface following the process, which all depends upon the type of plastic being utilized. During this form of laser marking for plastics, the control of the heat source is highly important.

Fume Extraction System

It is recommended that you use a ventilation unit when laser marking plastic. This will help remove debris, fumes, or gases that are produced during the process. While laser marking plastic is ultimately considered to be cleaner than alternative methods, there are still some emissions that are produced during the process, and this can vary based on the type of plastic produced.

Using a fume extraction unit can help keep your indoor air quality at its best, remove any odors that are produced, and help you comply with any regulations for your location and industry. Our fume extraction units connect with our standard laser systems for easy hookups. Additionally, we have a variety of sizes available so that you can choose one that fits your application.

FAQs on Laser Engraving Plastic

Which industries typically use laser marking machines for plastic?

Laser marking machines for plastic are commonly used to label products, facilitate traceability, adhere to branding guidelines, customize items, and so much more. These tactics are often seen in the following industries and applications:

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Electronics
  • Medical devices
  • Packaging
  • Consumer goods
  • Sporting goods
  • And more!

Does laser marking damage the plastic material?

The process of laser engraving plastic is non-invasive, which means it does not damage or weaken the structural integrity of the item being marked. However, too much heat or power can lead to melting or deformation, so it is important to know the type of plastic being marked and the appropriate parameters that should be used.

What are the benefits of laser marking plastic parts and components?

Laser marking plastic parts is advantageous when you want to create precise, high-quality, long-lasting marks. These same marks are tamper-proof, ideal for product tracing and authentication. The approach also offers high-speed processing and minimal material removal which means that you can efficiently laser mark plastic parts in a timely fashion.  

What type of plastic can be laser engraved?

It is possible to laser engrave a wide range of plastics, including the most common types like ABS, PVC, polyethylene, polypropylene, and acrylics. It is important to note that the effectiveness can vary based on the plastic’s composition, color, and additives. Therefore, we suggest conducting tests on the materials you desire to mark and adjusting settings to achieve the best possible outcome.

It is also possible to mark recycled or reprocessed plastics. Since the composition and quality of recycled plastics can vary, the outcome may be slightly altered as well. In this circumstance, testing will help determine the right parameters to create the mark of your choice.

What are the key considerations for choosing the right laser marking machine for plastic?

When selecting a laser marking machine for plastic, it is important to consider the type of plastic, intended marking effect, production volume, and any regulatory requirements at play. Additionally, you will want to choose a machine based on the characteristics of the material and the desired outcome. Therefore, take into account wavelength, laser power, marking speed, and other aspects.

Learn More About Our Systems for Laser Marking Plastic Parts

As you can see, our laser systems offer incredible versatility and flexibility, both in terms of material that can be marked and the ways the systems themselves can be utilized.

If you have products that require a system for laser etching plastics, make TYKMA Electrox your go-to laser marking supplier. To find out more about our advanced equipment, be sure to contact us today.

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