Application Case Study Laser marking of silicone elastomers

Silicone elastomers, such as those from Momentive Performance Materials, feature a variety of advantageous material properties, making them suitable for applications in medical technology, as well as in the electrical, aircraft and automobile industries. The products manufactured from silicone in these industries generally require decorative and informative markings that are subject to high demands. Not every marking method is suitable for this purpose.

The Material

Due to their inorganic Si-O compounds, silicone elastomers are toxicologically and physiologically harmless, making them particularly suitable for the manufacture of medical devices. Because of their high resistance to ozone, UV and heat, they are the material of choice in the automobile and aircraft industries where components must withstand high temperatures and harsh environments. Overall, silicone elastomers are robust, stable and offer excellent sealing properties over a long lifetime.

The Challenge

The application of decorative or informative content may not in any way deteriorate the exceptional material properties that characterize versatile elastomeric silicone. For Momentive Performance Materials, a leading manufacturer of silicones and advanced materials, it was necessary to find a labeling method that preserved the outstanding material properties and, in ideal cases, even improved the characteristics of the product.

It was vital that the inscription be durable, reliably legible and traceable with rich contrast. For medical applications, it was necessary to find a biocompatible material and a gentle process. For automotive applications, heat and light resistance as well as forgery protection and secure traceability were crucial factors.

Manufacturers that process silicone elastomers also face the challenge that the rather soft and flexible material is difficult to print on and a reliable marking method must be found.

The Solution

You would like to learn how it's possible to create high-contrast, resilient and durable as well as biocompatible markings on silicone elastomers? You can download the complete application case study here.

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