Plastic process was one in all the sectors within which the introduction of the CO2 laser was right away appreciated. optical laser has created it potential to hold out quicker, additional precise and fewer wasteful processes.
Flexibility has been the watchword that created new strategies potential andopened up new areas of application for plastic process.
The word “plastic” is sort of inaccurate: it covers an oversized variety of materials that have terribly completely different behaviors, mechanical characteristics, workability and potential applications.
Cutting, drilling and marking area unit the most processes that may be distributed with CO2 optical laser. Plastic objects area unit cut by step by step removing the fabric till the light beam penetrates through its entire thickness.
Some plastics lend themselves additional to cutting than others. the simplest results area unit obtained with acrylates and plastic (PP). On these plastics, the cut comes out with swish, shiny edges and with none scorch marks.
CO2 optical laser marking for plastic relies on a similar principle as optical laser cuts; although during this case, the beam solely removes a surface layer, deed Associate in Nursing unerasable mark.
In theory, optical laser will mark any sort of brand, code or figure on plastic, however actually, the potential applications rely on the fabric used. Some materials respond higher to cutting operations, whereas others area unit additional appropriate for marking.
But what will this nice variability of behavior between one plastic and another rely on? The distinction lies within the completely different disposition of the monomers, the repetitive molecular units at intervals the compound. Variations in temperature have a sway on the fabric properties and behavior.
In fact, all plastics area unit processed with the utilization of warmth. looking on however they answer it, plastics make up 2 categories: thermosets and thermoplastics.
Examples of thermoset polymers are:
The main thermoplastic polymers are:
Thermoplastic polymers, up to a precise threshold (called glass transition temperature), behave sort of a crystalline solid. on the far side this temperature they initial transition to a rubbery state so finally soften. These polymers area unit created of linear chains, that explains why they will be liquid and simply formed at sure temperatures.
Thermosetting polymers on the opposite hand, stiffen because the temperature will increase till they reach freezing point, on the far side that a amendment of state happens. Cross-linking at intervals the molecule, makes them less prone to temperature variations.
Because of these substantial variations, not all plastics respond well to optical laser. In general, thermoplastics lend themselves higher to optical laser process, however even thermosets will, to some extent, be subjected to optical laser process.
How to select the proper optical laser system for plastic?
The introduction of optical laser in plastic process has sealed the manner for brand spanking new applications. optical laser process of plastic is extremely convenient. most typically used polymers area unit absolutely compatible with the CO2 optical laser.
But selecting the foremost appropriate optical laser system isn’t simple. The variables to require into thought area unit many: the sort of application, the sort of fabric, and therefore the production desires.