Colloids has recently developed a new masterbatch range for plastic component producers looking to use a permanent laser marking system to apply key product information and branding instead of ink printing or engraving. Colloids’ L-TEC laser marking range is now available as a custom formulated masterbatch or compound in a wide range of polymers for injection moulding and extruding plastic components. This new laser marking compatible masterbatch range can be supplied to order by Colloids in virtually any colour or effect, including metallic and pearlescent.
The L-TEC laser marking masterbatch formulation developed by Colloids’ R & D team in the UK, is designed to work with YAG (yttrium aluminium garnet), Fibre, DPSS (diode-pumped solid state), UV and Green type laser marking systems, for both permanent flat surface marking or etching of text, numbers, QR and bar codes, as well as images and logos, in either white or a dark colour, as needed. To ensure the best contrast for ease of reading, Colloids uses its in-house laser marking machine to test sample plaques and validate the customer specific masterbatch, adjusting the pigment and additive levels in the formulation. A bespoke L-TEC masterbatch is produced depending on the polymer grade, colour and type of laser mark required; test readings are used to check, adjust and optimise the speed and sharpness of the laser marking with the customised L-TEC masterbatch. Demonstration sample plaques to show laser marking capabilities, which can be personalized with a company brand or logo, are produced for customers interested in this permanent marking system.
The key advantage of laser marking is that it provides a permanent product identification system, as well as being ideal for high volume batch production as it can also provide the speed, high visual quality and in-line flexibility currently provided by existing print marking options. As a consequence, laser marking is increasingly being used by plastic product manufacturers, particularly for automotive, medical devices, pipes and cabling and consumer goods where there is a requirement for permanent, anti-scratch product number/batch identification and bar code stock labelling, as well as to provide anti-counterfeiting brand marking and to meet any mandatory standards compliance. Other market sectors and applications, such as cosmetics and food & beverage packaging, are also benefiting from using a laser marking system, not only for permanent product labelling, but also to provide laser applied aesthetic enhancements as part of branding and product packaging.
Colloids’ L-TEC range enables automotive plastic part producers to meet the new IATF (International Automotive Task Force) 16949:2016 certification, effective from mid-September 2018, which has new definitions and requirements around counterfeit parts, product safety, ethical behaviour, human factors, data management and obsolescence.
In addition to this latest product innovation, Colloids, also offers a wide range of specialty additive products offering end use application performance attributes including anti-fog, antistatic, anti-block, anti-slip, anti-stick, fire retardancy, UV protection for film packaging, as well as biodegradable, fully recyclable grades. All Colloids products aim to provide both added value processing benefits, such as higher throughput rates, as well as improved quality and functional performance.
Colloids Group, with factories in the UK and China, is part of the multinational Tosaf Group, with sister companies in Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands, Israel and the USA, offering a global service to the plastics industry for high quality black, white and colour masterbatches, compounds and performance enhancing additive masterbatches. All manufacturing sites meet ISO 9001 quality standards, with Colloids Knowsley having automotive industry IATF 16949:2016 and ISO 14001 accreditations. Colloids supplies the automotive, agricultural, E&E, construction, pipe, geosynthetic and consumer markets, as well as polymer producers and compounders worldwide.