While in searching the internet in an effort to see if clear polycarbonate is laser engraving friendly, your bound to find a mixed bag of opinions and many that are negative to the extent that say polycarbonate is not laser compatible to etch. The general consensus is that in the process of laser engraving, polycarbonate turns into a melted mess and has a brownish yellow smoke stain everywhere it was subjected to the laser. Most if not all the examples illustrating a successful engraving involve making a dark laser engraved mark. While this is suitable for many uses, you may want your mark to be engraved or etched bright. Possibly you want a bright white mark similar to engraving acrylic? Is a bright white engraving mark possible with laser on clear polycarbonate?
Is a white contrasting etch or engraving possible on clear polycarbonate? The short answer is yes. Red Bolt Laser can laser engrave or etch your polycarbonate parts in contrasting white similar to the contrast achieved with acrylic engraving.
The following is a example of a recent project involving multiple polycarbonate cylinder tubes to be laser engraved with a specific length measure for scale. The customer required the tubes to be laser etched in a contrasting white for viewing against the liquid filled pressurized tube. After some initial testing for laser compatibility, a MIN and MAX measuring ruler drawing was created to be engraved on the tube in accordance with the customers specifications as outlined in their PDF drawing.
Material: Clear Polycarbonate
Tube Diameter: 2.5" OD
Engraving Dimensions: 12" Tall x .75" wide
Once the job was set-up an initial sample was laser marked, an image was taken and sent to the customer for final approval prior to production run.
Please feel free to contact us with your engraving project.