View Full Version : Nickel Plated Polycarbonate

Joe Pelonio
05-04-2006, 1:17 PM
One of my customers wanted to know if we can laser mark through a nickel plating on polycarbonate. He says it's not actual metal, just a coating similar to the fake chrome on plastic in cars. Anyone tried it? I told him to bring in a sample.

Lee DeRaud
05-04-2006, 2:47 PM
Probably the same stuff they use to make mirrored acrylic. But I thought engraving from the "front" (reflective) side of that was supposed to be a no-no because of the beam bouncing back up into the works. (Of course I was also under the impression that polycarbonate didn't engrave/cut all that well with the laser anyway, so what do I know?)

Joe Pelonio
05-04-2006, 2:56 PM

I have cut polycarbonate before, it works OK. This is just rastor though, it's some electronic part. You definitely can't laser the front of the mirror acrylic, I have a couple of etch marks on the inside of my glass door to prove it. For this stuff as shiny as it is I think it might work if it was transfer taped, and if the first pass will go deep enough to remove the nickel. I'll find out if he does bring in a sample. I'll try just to rastor a
tiny period (.) first.

Michael Wells
05-05-2006, 5:08 PM
You sure can lase on the shiny side, just treat it like glass and cover it with damp paper first or I suppose even the laser tape or transfer tape. I think that the coating that they use on the Polycarbonate is an enamel type. It should raster fine, just be careful of flames! Hehehe

Patrick OBrien
05-06-2006, 1:01 PM
After reading the warnings on laseing reflective materials, has anyone worked with LAMA materials? I picked up a couple sample materials at a Trade Show and lased them without thinking about the reflectivity issue.
I only did three small pieces, and they came out fine - but I wonder if they should have been masked prior to laseing. Johnson Plastics (LAMA Distributor) gave no indication that masking was required or suggested, but I'm still not sure. Anyone have any expierience witth this stuff?

Joe Pelonio
05-06-2006, 2:43 PM
I'd cover it to be safe, but if you were watching and there was no beam hitting the inside of the top you must have been OK. If the laser is able to go thru the reflecting coating in the first pass you should be safe. The trouble is with mirror (glass or acrylic) where the beam goes into it but the reflectivity is still there since it's on the bottom surface.