Traffolyte or is it Trefolite or indeed Trafolite?

This generic phrase is known thorough out industry as the “plastic” stuff that engraved signs and labels are made from. Over the years we have received many requests for “traffic light”, ivorine, Traff  and traffolite labels.  This material appeared in 1927, made by Metropolitan-Vickers of  Manchester and consisted of a phenolic core layer topped by a different coloured “cap” layer.  By engraving through the cap, the core colour is revealed showing the contrasting text or design.

Traffolite was a rigid material and rather brittle.  It engraved well using a traditional steel cutter but cutting out shapes often left uneven,  chipped edges spoiling the finished item.  To ensure labels looked pristine, a bevelling machine rebated each side, likewise hole edges needed to be countersunk, these extra processes added time and cost. During 1960’s the UK manufacturer ceased trading but by then newer plastics were being developed by other companies.

Using a CO2 laser means that engraving, hole cutting and outline cutting is all done in a single stage.  The accuracy of a laser ensures that material wastage is kept to an absolute minimum.  Pages of labels can be engraved in one go which speeds up the entire process allowing us to complete orders efficiently.  Modern laminated engraving plastics are now available in a vast array of different colour combinations, thicknesses and designs.  Some give the appearance of polished or brushed metals, you could choose a wood or marbled effect or a mirrored finish engraved in reverse to give a smooth front surface.

There is something for every situation – and it all started with Traffolyte from Trafford Park.