View Full Version : Laser decorating additives.

Doug Griffith
03-14-2014, 6:05 PM
I just read this article that applies to our industry:

Dave Sheldrake
03-14-2014, 6:11 PM
If they can get that in the 10,600 nm range it will be very useful ;)



Mike Null
03-14-2014, 6:31 PM
I currently do some marking for a food processing company and a contrasting mark would be a real plus for them. They use delrin and can't use a color fill. We engrave deeply for visibility but it makes cleaning more difficult.

Keith Outten
03-15-2014, 10:05 AM

I use a pressure washer to clean Corian signs after engraving them. When I have just one or two or for very small parts I use a Water Pic. The Water Pic won't always get the parts perfectly clean but it helps.

Richard Rumancik
03-15-2014, 10:32 AM
I have been watching developments in this area for a long time but unfortunately there seems to be little work being done on materials suitable for CO2 lasers.

I would have thought companies like Rowmark might have tried to develop sheet materials that had appropriate additives which would react to CO2 wavelengths, but I have not seen any developments. (How hard could it be?) This proposed material would be similar to the Flexicolor type products but the advantage would be is that you get color change rather than material removal. In many applications it may be advantageous to be able to make tags that are smooth-surfaced rather than engraved, as engraved tags can collect contamination and debris. This is not only an aesthetic issue but an issue with devices such as medical equipment.

You would probably end up with color change on the edges as well when vector cut but that would not be any different than the results you get when using Rowmark Flexicolor or other sheet materials. If I mark black/white Flexicolor, I get white text and a black background, with white edges. With a color-change material you would get something similar (you probably wouldn't get a mark quite as contrasting as you would with Rowmark though.) But I think it would have wide applications and would avoid the reverse-engraving and color-fill alternatives. It would probably be limited to two-color tags.

I think there are a few additives out there that react to CO2 wavelengths that can be used for injection-molded parts. If a manufacturer went this route it might be possible for our CO2 lasers to apply the graphics to a molded panel or faceplate.

Dave Sheldrake
03-15-2014, 11:46 AM
Problem is longevity Rich, Sunlight carries a lot of Mid IR so anything that reacted well to the laser would also react quite well to sunlight :( the materials noted above use metallic bonders up to 4%, unless the CO2 is pumping a LOT of power it's not going to do much to the metallic content :(