by: Samuel Abiodun and Rodrigo Costa – Technetics Group
Due to issues relating to product liability and environmental concerns associated with the traditional method of ink-jet printing on plastics, laser marking and engraving have gained huge significance as alternative techniques for product recognition and identification.
Laser marking aids product identification by creating permanent marks on plastic surfaces with a visually controlled laser beam.
Key application areas of laser marking include medical devices, aerospace, automotive, brand packaging for consumer items, building, agriculture, electrical and electronic parts. Items or components commonly marked using laser beam include wire and cables, plugs, bottle caps, labels, switches, automobile panels, bumpers and head lamps to mention a few. Ink-jet printing and code stickers are well established traditional methods of writing on plastics, but have been associated with some drawbacks. Environmental impact of printing inks and pretreatment of parts are becoming more concerning.
The issue of flexibility and durability of the marks has also prompted the need for better long-lasting marking alternatives. Laser marking does not use inks, pretreatment or solvents…