Laser Engraving Marking Processes
Laser marking by means of material removal
The thermal energy of the laser is used for fusing and evaporating material in a very specific location so that a very slightly sunk marking is achieved. During this process, virtually no heat is transferred to the workpiece. The suitable selection of the laser parameters ensures that a light marking (e.g. on burnished or anodized surfaces) or a high-contrast dark marking is created. In contrast to annealing marking, engraving marking is resistant against subsequent heating-up and can only be rendered illegible by means of grinding-off – a labor-intensive process.
Laser marking by means of paint removal
The marking is created by removing a cover layer (e.g. anodizing, paint, chrome layer), with the color contrast being due to the “lasering” of the basic material. This process is used, for example, in the area of night/day design as well as for manufacturing all kinds of different tags. Typical materials for this application are anodized aluminum, burnished steel or painted plastic.
Laser marking by means of plastics engraving
The thermal energy of the laser is used in order to fuse and evaporate material in very specific locations so that a slightly sunk marking is achieved. During this process, virtually no heat is transferred to the workpiece – an advantage especially for plastics. Laser marking is far more durable compared to painted markings.
Foil marking with the laser
The use of laser-optimized foils allows the creation of high-contrast text, continuous serial numbers and barcodes within seconds. It is also possible to create product labels, which can then be cut by the laser in a single working step.
White marking with the laser
During white marking, the surface of the material is slightly fused. This way, small fusion craters are created, which then reflect the light diffusely, similar to a sand-blasted surface. Only the smallest amount of material is removed. The removed layer thickness for white marking is significantly less than 1 µm. In principle, white marking is a special form or borderline form of engraving marking. Engraving marking generally aims at achieving a dark alteration of the engraving surface color, whereas for white marking a lighter surface color is intended. This process is often used on the shafts of carbide tools.
Typical applications for this process are the shafts of carbide tools.