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Laser-markable acetal offers high-contrast graphics in matched colors

Two new laser-markable acetal copolymers have been developed by Ticona to match selected colors in both etched marks and background. When etched with prescribed laser settings, custom-pigmented acetal copolymers Celcon LM90, a general-purpose grade, or LM90Z, a UV-resistant grade, capture signature colors used in trademarks and decorations.

Laser markable Celcon acetal copolymer is available in black or rich background colors, including midnight blue, deep maroon, black-green, and dark gray. Pastel shades such as the taupe and light blue commonly specified for automotive interiors are also in development.

The new Celcon grades have mechanical and chemical properties near those of general purpose Celcon M90, yet are formulated to react under common Nd:YAG lasers. The laser energy leaves high-resolution alphanumerics and graphics etched into the surface with a dramatic and controllable color change. The exact hue or chroma of the base plastic and marks are determined by pigments in the resin. Varying the laser energy applied to the plastic adjusts the intensity of the marks, from lighter tints of the base colors to near bright white. For more information on color laser marking, see "Color Laser Marking, the Next Generation," March 1998 IMM, p. 44. The list price for Celcon LM90 is $2.24/lb for truckload quantities and the list price for Celcon LM90Z is $2.60/lb for truckload quantities.

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