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Considerations when marking metal with lasers

It is very common to mark metals with lasers for barcodes, serial numbers, and logos on both fiber laser and CO2 laser systems.

Since fiber lasers offer long operating life, a low cost, and low maintenance requirements, industrial marking applications are ideal. It produces a permanent, highly contrasted mark that is not affected by the quality of the part.

A CO2 laser must be used to engrave metal that has been treated with a spray (or paste) before engraving. Marking agents are bonded to bare metal by CO2 lasers, resulting in permanent marks. CO2 lasers are not only fast and affordable, but can also be used for marking wood, acrylic, natural stone, and more.

Laser systems made by Epilog can be operated virtually without special software and are remarkably easy to use.

Different types of lasers

Because different types of lasers have different effects on different materials, some considerations should be made.

Metals, such as steel, require more time to mark with a CO2 Laser marking on metal because metal marking agents must be applied before marking. Besides bonding at low speeds, high power, and low speed is also required of the marking agent. Once the mark has been washed off, it’s time to run the piece at a slower speed and higher power.

CO2 lasers don’t remove material when marking metal, so tolerance and strength are not compromised. Anodized aluminum and painted brass are examples of treated metals that do not require pre-treatment.

Marks and types of marks (lasers)

The types of materials that can be marked with Fiber Lasers are varied. Utilizing a laser, engraving requires vaporizing material from the surface of an object. A cone-shaped mark results from the beam’s shape. The system repeats the cycle to produce deep engravings that won’t wear under harsh environmental conditions.

It is common for top layers to be removed in order to expose the material underneath. Metals that are powdered or anodized can all be abraded.

Objects can also be marked by heating their surfaces. When metals are exposed to high temperatures, an oxide layer is formed on them, leaving a high-contrast image on the metal. As a result of melting, trapped gas bubbles form on the surface of a material, causing a raised effect. In polishing, the metal surface is quickly heated in order to reverse its color.

In the end, the metal surface looks like a mirror. Annealing is used for steel alloys, titanium, iron, and other metals with high carbon content and metal oxide. Stainless steel can also be marked with foam, though foam tends to be used primarily for marking plastic. The best results are typically achieved on darker metals with matte finishes, but polish can be done on all metals.

Considering the following materials

Further, stainless steel can be marked by annealing, etching, polishing, or varying laser power, frequency, and focus. With CO2 lasers, fiber lasers are able to achieve much greater brightness on anodized aluminum than they can with fiber lasers. A fiber laser engraves bare aluminum in gray shades rather than black. Oxidizing or filling aluminum with color is also an option for deep etching.

The laser tends to produce a wide range of colors when marking titanium. By adjusting the frequency, marks can be produced in different colors.

Super-Fast Engraving

Laser engraving is a quick and convenient method of engraving. A conventional engraving method calls for specific tools and is time-consuming as well. For laser engraving, however, the command is all that’s required, and it does the job without any complication or delay. As a result, the company can streamline its processes and save money as well. Your business will make more profits if you get things made faster.

Accuracy

If you are going to engrave an expensive product or machine, you’ll have to tread carefully. There is nothing worse than damaging a product with one tiny error. You don’t have to worry about anything when you print with lasers. Despite the accuracy of the engraving, there will be no risk of damage to the product.

Better quality of lasers

Laser engraving provides high-quality markings for your products, making it one of the most useful methods of branding. Furthermore, laser marking machines are a large investment, and you expect to see results on your investment when you make it.

Laser marking machines use computer-driven beams, so the marks are always precise. Also, I’m capable of printing complex designs and engravings that aren’t possible with conventional methods. It would still be easy to read small text printed on your goods or machines.

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