Patent Number: 6,169,266

Title: Etching of multi-layered coated surfaces to add graphic and text elements to an article

Abstract: A system and method for incorporating graphic and text elements on a surface of an article by employing an ablative etching device, such as a laser etcher, that is capable of etching the elements into a coating on the article's surface having at least two layers of material. The ablative etching device etches into the coating layers to a depth that removes the material of the outermost, exposed layer, but which leaves intact at least a portion of the depth of an underlying layer. As a result the graphics and text take on the color of the particular underlying layer exposed by the etching process. By making the colors of the underlying layer or layers contrast the color of the outermost, exposed layer, the graphics and text elements become readily readable against the background color of the outermost layer. Further, the graphic and text elements can be formed as an array having individual holes etched into the coating layers, as well as un-etched locations. By alternating the color exhibited by adjacent locations in the array, it can be made to appear to a viewer that the associated graphic and text elements are a color different from the colors actually exhibited by the adjacent array locations. The shade of the color associated with a portion of the graphic and text elements can also be made to appear lighter or darker to a viewer.

Inventors: Hughes; James G. (Simi Valley, CA)

Assignee: Xirom, Inc.

International Classification: B41M 5/24 (20060101); B23K 026/38 ()

Expiration Date: 01/02/2018