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Laser Engraving on Medical Grade Silicon Leaving Tough Residue

Laser Engraving on Medical Grade Silicon Leaving Tough Residue

(OP)
We are using an Epilog laser to engrave on rubber, but the laser is leaving behind a residue in the engraving that is extremely difficult and to remove. We are currently using rubbing alcohol with a Q-Tip to remove the residue by hand and this requires several deep cleanings to get a sub-par result. This is very time-consuming and will completely bottle-neck our process once we are mass producing these items. Are there any suggestions on a better cleaner to use, or a better rubber material which won't stain? The rubber does not need to be medical grade, it just needs to flex and be comfortable on skin.
Top - Ring after initial engraving.
Bottom - Ring after 15 minutes of scrubbing. Still has white residue in some letters.

RE: Laser Engraving on Medical Grade Silicon Leaving Tough Residue


Dry-ice ('ice carbon' - frozen carbon dioxcide) blasting?

RE: Laser Engraving on Medical Grade Silicon Leaving Tough Residue

If the white residue is the talc filler material, you should try ultrasonically cleaning these parts.

RE: Laser Engraving on Medical Grade Silicon Leaving Tough Residue

Have you called Epilog? I'd guess using an inert gas, like argon.

RE: Laser Engraving on Medical Grade Silicon Leaving Tough Residue

From what you described and the photo, I think capnhook is correct. If it is the talc filler from the rubber, an ultrasonic bath of isopropyl alcohol should allow you to batch several at once for cleaning. Just watch for how long it takes before the bath becomes too contaminated to clean the parts.

RE: Laser Engraving on Medical Grade Silicon Leaving Tough Residue

vibratory finishing?

A.R. "Andy" Nelson
Engineering Consultant
www.arnengineering.com

RE: Laser Engraving on Medical Grade Silicon Leaving Tough Residue

I suspect the white residue is silicon (..)oxide, i.e., burned silicone, typically fine white sand.

What I don't understand is why you want to remove a naturally adherent, no-cost visual filler that provides such strong contrast, greatly improving readability.

I really, really hate having to fiddle with lateral illumination in order to read product markings that are molded or embossed too small and/or too shallow to cast a deep shadow.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

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