MLT is capable of laser machining, cutting, and drilling many thermoset and thermoplastic plastics to exacting tolerances. Specializing in the laser processing of thin, flat, sheet or roll stock, laser fabrication of all plastics is limited to a maximum thicknesses of one inch. A subset laser machinable plastics are listed below.
Plastic selection is generally based on the properties of tensile and impact strength, wear resistance or hardness, chemical resistance, electrical insulation, flame retardance, static control, surface finish, and machinability. Surface finishes may be precision ground, unpolished, coated, polished, brushed, bright, or reflective.
If required, material certifications can be provided to document compliance to military, food and drug, automotive, and aerospace standards. Additional specification compliance for plastics may include FDA, ASTM, Mil-Spec, and UL.
Clear Plastics are made up of polycarbonates and acrylics with trade names such as Lexan and Plexiglass.
- Impact-Resistant – Windows, instrument gauge covers, machine guards, and signs.
- Scratch & UV Resistant – Coated to protect against UV degradation, harsh cleaners and solvents.
- High-Strength Glass-Filled – Structural applications.
- Antistatic – ESD and static electricity.
- Ultra-Impact Resistant – Machine guards.
- Thermally Conductive – Heat sinks, heat exchangers, enclosures, and lighting
- Mirrored – Reflective surface applications
- Machinable PETG – Shelving, display racks, and signs.
- Optically Clear and Colored Cast – Outdoor uses.
- Anti-static Cast – Anti-static.
- Scratch-Resistant Cast – Coated for scratch resistance.
- UV-Resistant – Windows and signs.
- Strengthened UV-Resistant – Skylights, signage, and windows.
- Mirrored – Alternative to mirrored glass, outdoor use.
Plastic laminates are great for structural and electrical parts and components. Plastic laminates include carbon fiber, fiberglass, Garolite, and hard fiber materials.
- Hard Fiber – Light-weight, cotton-fabric based.
- Structural Fiberglass (FRP) – Nonconductive, structural apps.
- Electrical-Grade Fiberglass (GPO3) – Electrical applications.
- Hard and Strong Garolite (XX) – Gasketing, gears, paper-based.
- Impact-Resistant Garolite (CE) – General purpose, gears, rollers.
- Ultra-Impact-Resistant Garolite (E-Glass) – Machine guards.
- Machinable Garolite (LE) – Wear resistant, cotton-cloth based.
- Electrically Conductive Garolite (Glass Carbon) – Carbon/glass-based.
- Electrical-Grade Garolite (G-9) – Arc barriers, switchboard panels.
- Multipurpose Garolite (G-10) – Electrical insulating.
- Flame-Retardant Multipurpose Garolite (G-10/FR4) – Electrical-flame resist.
- High Temperature Garolite (G-11) – Electrical – >300°.
- Ultra High Temperature Garolite (G-7) – Heat & arc-resistant.
- High-Strength Lightweight Carbon Fiber – Aerospace parts.
PTFE’ slippery surface is excellent for chemical resistance and extreme temperatures. It is also an excellent electrical insulator.
- Extreme-Temperature Slippery PTFE – Chemicals.
- Antistatic PTFE – ESD, electrical.
- Ultra-Clean PTFE – Clean room environment.
- Wear-Resistant Glass-Filled PTFE – High-wear apps.
- High-Strength Chemical-Resistant PVDF – Strength & chemical resist.
- Self-Lubricating High-Temperature Rulon PTFE – Epoxy-coated fibers.
- Impact-Resistant Slippery FEP – Valve components and gaskets.
- Rigid Chemical-Resistant Polysulfone – Resists chemicals.
- High-Temperature High-Strength PFA – Demanding environments.
- Ultra-Chemical Resistant PPS – Chemical production.
- High-Strength Electrical Insulating Ultem PEI – Breaker housings,semiconductor.
- High-Strength High-Temperature PEEK – High-temperature & stress apps.
- Ultra-Strength High-Temperature Torlon PAI – Non-lubricated bearings, seals.
- Ultra-High-Temperature Kapton® Polyimide – High temp & hardness.
Common plastics are made up of PVC, Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Polyester, ABS, PLA, and Nylon to name a few. Laser machinable, common plastics include:
- Chemical-Resistant PVC I – Piping and chemical-processing.
- Strengthened Chemical-Resistant PVC II – Shock apps.
- High-Temperature Chemical-Resistant CPVC – Piping and chemical-processing.
- Lightweight Rigid Foam PVC – Signs and partitions.
- Polypropylene Low-Tack Film – Removable acrylic adhesive-back.
- Formable Chemical-Resistant Kydex Acrylic/PVC – Vehicle interiors and equipment housings.
- Electrically Conductive Flame-Retardant ABS/PVC – Anti-static apps.
Polypropylene, Polystryene, ABS, PLA, PPO
- Easy-to-Machine Chemical-Resistant Polypropylene – Chemicals and solvents.
- Flame-Retardant Polypropylene – Semiconductor applications.
- Easy-to-Machine Polystyrene – Signs and containers.
- Ultra Electrical Insulating Rexolite Polystyrene – Cable connectors, microwave apps.
- Electrical Insulating Noryl PPO – Electrical insulating applications.
- Impact-Resistant PLA – Plant-based, signs and packaging.
- Easy-to-Machine Impact-Resistant ABS – Equipment housings and machine guards.
- Moisture-Resistant Polyester – Moist environments (PET and PETE).
- Wear & Water-Resistant – Gears, bushings, impellers.
- Rigid Glass-Filled – Electrical insulators.
- Ultra-Wear-Resistant PTFE-Filled – Water & wear resistant apps.
- Chemical & Wear-Resistant – Precision gears and rollers.
- Anti-static – Rollers, moving parts.
- Wear-Resistant (6/6) – Resists gasoline, oils, refrigerants
- Wear & Moisture Resistant (6/12) – Hose fittings and valve components.
- High-Strength Glass-Filled – Railway tie insulators and automotive parts.
- Very-Wear-Resistant Kevlar-Filled – Wear resistance (Hydlar Z).
- Self-Lubricating MDS-Filled – Gears and bearings.
- Wear-Resistant Easy-to-Machine Cast -Easy to machine (Nylatron and Nycast).
- Self-Lubricating Oil-Filled Cast – Harsh environments and hard-to-reach places.
- Moisture-Resistant Easy-to-Form LDPE – Tanks, piping.
- Moisture-Resistant LDPE Film – Packaging, outdoor apps.
- Lightweight Aluminum-Faced LDPE – Wall panels, canopies, outdoor.
- Rigid HDPE – Tank linings, cutting boards
- Durable HDPE Film – Moisture & chemicals.
- Rigid Slippery VHMW – Liners, gaskets.
- Impact-Resistant Slippery UHMW – Bearings,machine guards, liners.
- Abrasion-Resistant Glass-Filled UHMW – Chute and hopper liners (Tivar 88).
- Static-Dissipative UHMW – Electrical.
- Electrically Conductive UHMW – Electrical, self-lubricating, resistant.
- Self-Lubricating Impact-Resistant UHMW – Chain guides, rollers.
- Mold- and Mildew-Resistant UHMW – Bacteria, algae, & fungus resistant.
- High-Temperature UHMW – High-temp apps (Tivar H.O.T.).
- Metal-Detector-Grade UHMW – Food-processing apps (FDA compliant).