RTP Co. launches laser-markable compounds

A variety of polymers, including clear substrates, can be compounded to optimize laser marks, which eliminates the need for inks, paints and dyes.

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RTP Co. (Winona, Minn.) has developed laser-markable compounds, a series of thermoplastic compounds formulated specifically for allowing high contrast marks and images to be added to an application via laser processing. A variety of polymers, including clear substrates, can be compounded to optimize laser marks, which eliminates the need for inks, paints and dyes, thus saving on processing costs.

“Laser marking on a clear resin is very challenging because the light passes through the substrate,” says Josh Blackmore, global healthcare manager at RTP Co. “We are able to compound additives into the clear resin that absorb specific wavelengths of energy and create a high contrast mark, while allowing the resin to remain clear. This is incredibly useful for injection pens, drug pumps, and medical packaging applications.”  RTP also offers laser-markable compounds in white, black, or custom colors to meet application requirements.

Laser-markable compounds are particularly important to medical device manufacturers in the U.S., who are required to comply with the FDA’s Unique Device Identification (UDI) System. The UDI System was introduced to reduce the chance of error in medical device distribution to patients, and for traceability reasons. The UDI System requires that each medical device is assigned a unique identifier, such as sequential numbering, as well as lot and/or serial numbers. By September 2018, all medical devices classified by the FDA as Class I, II, and III, as well as life sustaining devices, will be required to comply with the UDI System. Medical devices made from RTP Company’s laser-markable compounds can be laser marked easily and efficiently, providing durable and wear resistant marks for compliance. 

“In some cases, our compounds can be formulated with biocompatible or FDA ingredients,” says Blackmore. “Selecting the appropriate resins and additives is an important step in ensuring that the device passes required testing.”