Laser etching plastic
The term ‘plastic’ can be used to refer to a number of synthetic or semi-synthetic materials, commonly organic compounds. They are usually made of organic polymers. Polymers are composed of long molecular chains of repeating units, called ‘monomers’, which in this case are composed primarily of carbon atoms. Connected to the main backbone of the polymer are various ‘pendant’ groups, which may be composed of other elements (such as sulphur or oxygen) or other carbon-based molecules. The nature of the molecular bonds and pendant groups, as well as the length of the polymer chain, play a significant role in determining the properties of the resulting plastic.
Plastics have become the material of choice versus more traditional materials (such as wood or metal) due to some fundamental properties. Manufacturing and working with plastics is much cheaper and easier. Plastics are lightweight but can exhibit comparable strength and durability. They are impervious to the effects of moisture and organic decay.
With the wide variety of plastic products, the range of applications available for laser etching plastic items is virtually endless. Plastic etching has been used to label housings of electronics, tools and tool parts, various forms of packaging, automotive parts, electronic components, printed circuit boards, identification and product tags, buttons, keyboards and sensors.