This week in adhesives news around the web, recently developed polymer additives have optimized the laser marking of plastics.
FDA-approved polymer additives blended in during primary processing have recently advanced laser marking of plastics. The novel chemical additives can produce jet-black, light-colored, and custom color contrast, using both "on-the-fly" and secondary operations. Designed for affordable ytterbium fiber lasers, in-line inkless laser marking now replaces traditional rotary gravure and pad printing. Clear, semi-transparent, and opaque colored polymers, including nylons, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polycarbonates, polyolefins, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), styrenics, and thermoplastic elastomers (TPUs) and thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPEs) reportedly can now be formulated using non-heavy metal, FDA/European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)-approved additives to achieve high-contrast marking quality. Polymer clarity, spectral transmission, and base physical properties are not affected. The result is a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, superior aesthetic appeal in the application. This non-contact digital laser marking could replace expensive adhesive labels and ink-chemical printing processes.
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