Mukilteo, WA - Rubber, in both natural and synthetic forms, is a material that is easily cut, marked, and drilled by CO2 lasers. Typical items manufactured from rubber include gaskets and gasket material, floor mats, flapper valves, weather stripping, and wiper blades.
When marking rubber, the mark is created either by engraving or by discoloration depending on the power density applied to the substrate. The silicone rubber wiper material shown in the photograph exhibits some contrast due to a heat-induced color change. Ethylene-propylene (EPDM/EPM) rubbers produce a metallic-looking contrasting mark while neoprene and butyl rubber provide engraved marks with only slight contrast.
To produce the eight-character product code, Synrad (www.synrad.com) used an FH Series marking head with 60 watts of power and a marking velocity of 35 inches per second. The mark was produced in 0.13 second. In continuous-motion applications where a fixed (or serialized) text string is reproduced every 150 mm along the length of the blade material, an FH Tracker head could mark at line speeds of approximately 69.2 meters per minute.