Considerations on laser metal marking-Bunny

Laser engraving of barcodes, serial numbers and logos are very popular applications, both in fiber laser systems and CO2.

Thanks to their long service life, low maintenance and relatively low cost. Fiber laser systems are an ideal choice for industrial marking applications. These types of lasers produce a permanent high contrast mark, which does not affect the integrity of the parts.

When exposed metal mark with a CO2 laser system, a special spray (or paste) use to treat the metal before the procedure. The heat of the CO2 laser adheres the marking agent to the exposed metal, resulting in permanent marking. CO2 laser systems are not only fast and affordable. They can also mark other types of materials, such as wood, acrylic, natural stone and more.

Both the CO2 and fiber laser systems manufactured by XTLASER can work on almost any Windows-based software and are exceptionally easy to use.

Laser differences

Because different types of lasers react differently with metals, certain considerations must take.

More time require to mark metals with a CO2 laser system, for example, because it is necessary to previously coat or treat the metal with a marking agent. In addition, the laser must use with a low speed and high power setting so that the marking agent can adhere properly to the metal. Sometimes, users discover that they can erase the marking after the process, indicating that it is necessary to repeat the marking by adjusting the system at a lower speed and higher power.

The advantage of marking the metal with CO2 laser is that the mark actually occurs on the metal, without removing material, so there is no impact on the strength or tolerance of the metal. It should also note that covered metals such as anodized aluminum or painted bronze do not require prior treatment.

When it comes to engraving exposed metals, fiber laser systems the preferre method. Fiber laser systems idea for creating markings on many types of aluminum, bronze, nickel-plated metals, stainless steel and others, as well as technical plastics, such as ABS, PEEK and polycarbonates. However, some materials difficult to mark with the laser wavelength emitted by the device, since, for example, the beam can pass through transparent materials and produce marks on the engraving table and not on the intended material. While it is possible to create mark organic materials such as wood, transparent glass and leather with a fiber laser system, it is not really the ideal system to do so.

Types of marking

To better adapt to the type of material that mark, a fiber laser system offers a range of options. The basic process of engraving is that the laser beam vaporizes the material on the surface of an object. The mark is often a cone-shaped notch, due to the shape of the beam. Multiple passes through the system can create a deep engraving, which eliminates the possibility that the brand will be spent in harsh environmental conditions.

Tempering is similar to etching and often associate with the removal of an upper layer to expose the underlying material. Tempering can do on anodized, chromed and powder coated metals.

Another type of mark can made by heating the surface of an object. In tempering, a permanent oxide layer created by high temperature exposure leaves a high contrast mark. Without changing the surface finish. The foam melts the surface of a material to produce the trapped gas bubbles as the material cools, producing a raised mark. Polishing achieve by quickly heating a metal surface to change its color, resulting in a mirrored finish. Tempering works on metals with high levels of metal and carbon oxide, such as alloys of steel, iron, titanium and others. The foam usually use in plastics, although stainless steel can also mark with this method. Polishing can do on almost any metal; Matte finish metals tend to give results with greater contrast.

Material Considerations

Through adjustments in the speed, power, frequency and focus of the laser. It is possible to create stainless steel markings with different methods, such as tempering, engraving and polishing. With anodized aluminum, fiber laser marking usually produces much more brightness than with a CO2 laser. However, if exposed aluminum etche, less contrast obtaine. Because the fiber laser generates shades of gray instead of a black color. Still, deep engraving combined with oxidants or color fillers can use to produce a black etch on aluminum.

Similar considerations should take with titanium marking. Since the laser tends to create shades of light gray to very dark gray. However, depending on the alloy, markings of various colors can achieve by adjusting the frequency.

The best of both worlds

Dual source systems allow companies with space or budget limitations to increase their versatility and capabilities. It should note, however, that there is a drawback: when one laser system is in use, the other cannot use.