Marking Plastic Automotive Parts

The alphanumeric codes in the photo were created on the plastic automotive part using a 10W laser, FH marking head, and 125mm lens. The marks were made at a speed of 5 inches per second and a cycle time of 0.75 seconds, using a spot size of 180 microns.

The type of plastic, absorption of the laser beam, and power used will determine the type of mark that can be created on the material. The two basic types of marking are achieved by either engraving the material or creating a contrasting mark on the surface. Engraved marks are created when the laser actually removes material, creating a depression. Contrasting marks are created by either surface melting or by surface discoloration via a chemical reaction of the material to the laser beam, usually requiring less power than engraving.

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