Laser engraving is a method of etching permanent, deep markings by vaporizing materials into fumes. The laser beam works like a chisel, incising markings on the material’s surface by eliminating layers. The laser targets targeted locations with vast amounts of energy.
This article will explain how laser engraving works and how to locate engraving equipment in detail.
But first, check out this little video of a fiber laser engraving process in action. You’ll witness the high-quality contrasts, the marking speed, and the fumes produced during laser marking in this movie.
Is Laser Engraving or Laser Etching the Better Option?
Three variables should be while selecting a laser marking process:
The laser marking speed is when it takes for the laser to make a mark, eliminating production bottlenecks.
The substance to be marked: its suitability for the marking technique
Typically, laser engraving to engrave metal workpieces subjected to various forms of wear or surface treatments. Steel and aluminum in metal engraving (including anodized and die-casting aluminum).
The capacity of this method to engrave 2D codes with reasonable reading rates following post-process treatments is its most notable characteristic. Shotblasting, e-coating, and heat treatments are some of the procedures to handle the most challenging traceability challenges.
Laser etching is usually favored if the most resistant identifiers aren’t required because it’s a fast approach that doesn’t rely on ablation as much.
Steel, aluminum, anodized, lead, magnesium, and zinc are among the materials that may be laser etched.
Laser annealing is a unique way of marking metals like stainless steel.
How Does a Solid Become a Gas?
Laser engraving sublimates the material surface to produce deep fissures, whereas laser etching melts the material surface to modify its roughness. Implies the surface absorbs enough energy to go from solid to a gas without ever becoming a liquid.
The laser engraving equipment must provide enough energy to allow the material’s surface to reach its vaporization temperature within milliseconds to achieve sublimation. Laser engravers are potent instruments, especially considering the high temperatures necessary for sublimation.
When materials reach this temperature, they evaporate into vapors. As a result, a laser system should always include a fume extraction system to safeguard the work environment and an air knife to protect the laser’s lens when purchased.
Because they create a wavelength that reacts well with metals, fiber lasers are the ideal engraving instruments for this.
How can high-contrast, high-quality markings be engraved?
The chaotic surface formed as a consequence of laser engraving may be in the enlarged photos below.
Because of light in deep crevices, permanent laser engraving marks appear darker (the engraving depth can reach up to 0.5 mm).
When laser engraving a surface, there are two techniques to create contrast.
The first (and quickest) engraving process contrasts the naked material and the etched black markings. Only use this procedure if the nude material color is light enough to provide a great contrast.
Because it etches black and white markings, the second (and lengthier) engraving procedure generates more extraordinary quality contrasts. The laser system in this approach employs both laser engraving (to make the black markings) and laser etching (to create the white marks) (to create the white spots).
Locate a Laser Engraving Device
This list can help you find the correct laser engraving machine if you’re looking for one:
View our OEM marking systems, including different lasers for industrial applications, to implement unique solutions yourself or with an integrator. Fiber lasers and CO2 lasers are among the laser systems we provide.
Consult our integrated laser machines page for complete automated or semi-automated laser systems.
Scroll through the list of metals to get information related to the metal you’ll be marking.
You may always seek an expert for help if you need it.