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Can You Laser Engrave Polyurethane?

Polyurethane is a unique polymer that is elastic like rubber but can be repeatedly stretched and reformed like plastic. This tough, flexible, and hard-wearing material can be formulated using a wide range of starting materials to develop everything from paint, car parts, shoe soles and seals. Polyurethanes are polymers with a versatile chemistry that produce materials that behave like plastics and rubbers. Polyurethanes are made by reacting a polyol, which is an alcohol with more than two reactive hydroxyl groups per molecule, with a diisocyanate or a polymeric isocyanate in the presence of suitable catalysts and additives. Polyurethanes come in a wide range of hardness using just two or three chemicals combined in a smart way. Parts manufactured polyurethane can be coloured and finished off to high gloss levels. They can also be manufactured to include inserts, such as metal fixings, other polymers, or polyurethanes of different hardness. Polyurethane is an extremely versatile material. It can be formulated to be either rigid or flexible, making it suitable for a wide range of industries and applications.

Laser engraving

Laser engraving, including polyurethane engraving,  is a method of creating long-lasting, deep marks on material by vaporising and removing the material in a desired pattern. The process makes shallow cuts into a part to create pictures, patterns, logos, barcodes, and serial numbers among other things. Laser engraving can be used on a wide variety of materials, including metals, ceramics, glass, wood, leather, paper, and polyurethane. The process of laser engraving has seen widespread adoption in hobbyist, small commercial, and mass manufacturing environments because of its versatility and ability to create cost-efficient permanent markings. Laser engraving has a plethora of advantages over more traditional methods including but not limited to:

  • Suitability For Many Materials: Laser engraving is an incredibly versatile processing method. The effect of the heat can be used to process a variety of different materials. Wood, paper, cardboard, textiles, plastics, polyurethanes, and many other materials can be engraved or cut with a laser engraver.
  • Easy To Use: The visual material to be engraved is usually sent via engraving software directly from the graphics program to the laser engraver. The result is comfortable data handling, which allows quick changes to the image. In addition, the laser software’s positioning function helps to reduce material waste.
  • High Precision: Laser engraving is one of the most accurate processing methods in the business. This is due to a resolution of up to 1000 ppi (= 39 pixels per mm) detailed graphics can be engraved accurately on even the smallest material surfaces.
  • Minimal Maintenance Required: Laser engraving is an entirely non-contact process, which causes no mechanical wear and tear on the device and ensures the laser engraver has a long operational life.

Watch Our Fibre Laser Engraver in Action

PLS-F30M Fibre Laser

Poly Flex utilises a PLS-F30M fibre laser, ideal for most metals and some engineered plastics. This versatile, self-contained machine is supplied with an ultra-reliable fibre laser source with 100,000+ hours of lifetime, low maintenance and no external cooling required. It uses new and improved MOPA technology allowing for several marking colours to be achieved, including black, brown, blue, and yellow. The autofocus facilitates faster startups, and the 200mm standard lens gives an extended marking area of 200mm x 200mm. The included, fully integrated Windows PC makes for a user-friendly standalone solution for Poly Flex. The reliability and durability of a fibre laser engraver have allowed Poly Flex to do a wide range of products and items such as but not limited to; stainless parts, jewellery, electronic components, engineering hardware, precision instruments, medical equipment, automotive parts, marine products, and promotional products.

Click here for more information regarding Poly Flex’s fibre laser engraving capabilities. Contact us today to find out how Poly Flex can be your solution for all your fibre laser engraving needs.