Polyethylene (PE) is a thermoplastic commonly referred to as a polyolefin. Some of the common forms of polyethylene are: HDPE, LDPE, LLPE, MDPE, and UHMW. Polyethylene can be processed with a 9.3 or 10.6 micron CO2 laser without an appreciable difference in process quality. Polyethylene does not readily absorb the energy of a 1.06 micron fiber laser. Cutting of polyethylene can be performed with a CO2 laser to produce a clean non-discolored cut with a slight raised edge near the point of ablation. Laser engraving and laser marking of polyethylene are possible using a CO2 laser. However, due to the relatively low melting point of polyethylene, laser marking and engraving can lead to localized melting and a non-uniform surface at the point of laser interaction.
Applicable Laser Processes for Polyethylene