Düsseldorf, Germany-Introduced at the October International Trade Fair for Plastic and Rubber, by BASF, Rofin Sinar, and Treffert, were two new infrared absorbing polymers that expand the field of plastic welding by making available products that enable laser transmission welding of colored and transparent polymers.
Until now, as a general rule, carbon black has been added to the laser-absorbing plastic part as a broadband absorber for the laser energy. Now, these new polymers greatly expand the range of colors and plastics that can be used in design. The materials, Lumogen® IR 788 and 765, have a small amount of color in the visible range providing absorption especially tailored for diode lasers at 808 nm. Used in conjunction with other colorants in the laser-absorbing plastic, this allows welded joints between lightly colored or even transparent moldings.
Applications are expected in medical technology, automotive, and electronics, where the polymers’ long service life and expanded color range will play an important role. Most importantly, the new polymers can be processed in the same way as standard additives, eliminating additional investment in processing technology.