Mukilteo, WA — Sealed-off CO2 lasers are the ideal tools for marking various types of plastic tubing as demonstrated in a series of tests done at Synrad Inc. (www.synrad.com). Tygon, a clear PVC tubing produces a lightly engraved, high-contrast mark, induced by the heating of the substrate.
Urethane tubing shows an engraved, non-contrasting mark produced at slower speeds than PVC. Nylon 11 exhibits a slight contrast mark caused by a combination of engraving and a light melt-back on each side of the depression. Polyethylene tubing shows a contrast mark developed by surface melting with the material changing density and volume.
Other dark-colored plastics such as phenolics and polycarbonates show engraved marks produced at lower laser power levels than the other plastics.
With their low unit-selling price, sealed off CO2 lasers, when integrated into marking systems, are a cost effective tubing marking method.