Laser can make marks inside glass

Nov. 24, 2010 at 7:03 PM
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PARIS, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Borrowing a laser technology developed for space, a Belgian company says can inscribe marks in glass without cracking, heating or leaving any external marks.

Trackinside uses a low-impact laser to inscribe serial numbers inside, rather than on the surface, of glass used in medical syringes, ampules, perfume vials and drink bottles.

"It's the only technology that can mark glass without damaging it," Managing Director Jean Michel Mestrez said.

The technology was developed in Belgium as a process to etch lenses and mirrors for use in space telescopes and measuring equipment, a European Space Agency release said.

It works much like the laser used in eye surgery, which beams energy through the surface of the eye to make incisions deep below.

The Trackinside laser is calibrated for glass, sending beams of energy that 'land' at a focal point inside the glass, marking the material there.

Serial numbers or other identification can be inscribed using very brief pulses.

While pharmaceutical companies make up the bulk of Trackinside's business, other clients include makers of perfume and cosmetics.

"With pharmaceuticals, it's about traceability. With perfume, cosmetics and luxury beverages, it's about anti-counterfeiting," Mestrez says.

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