Different types of marking
There are different types of laser marking, each with its own unique array of properties. We’ve covered each of these briefly below.
This is a process reserved for metals. While the majority of marks produced are black, the oxidisation that occurs beneath the surface with annealing will result in a colour change. The colour will be dependent on the level of heat, but typical colours are yellow, red and green.
With laser colour marking, the heat of the beam will cause a chemical reaction. The aim here is to create a variety of different colour shades on the material that is being worked with. The shade that will be produced is dependent on the material’s chemical composition.
As discussed earlier, laser engraving is a process that is sufficiently different from marking to be considered an application in its own right. However, the two are often compared together, so it’s worth touching on here.
With laser engraving, the surface layer of a material will be melted and vaporised by the beam, leaving a deep engraving beneath. The level of depth can be controlled depending on the user’s requirements.
With foaming, the laser beam will melt the area that it is working with, causing gas bubbles which will reflect the light. The areas that have been marked, therefore, will be lighter than the areas that haven’t.
Carbonising works in a similar way as foaming, with the end result helping to produce strong contrasts on typically bright surfaces. The laser will heat up the area it is working with, emitting gases such as oxygen or hydrogen. In its wake will be left a dark area with a much higher level of carbon concentration.
Night and day marking
This type of marking is a highly useful process, which leaves a mark that is both easy to read during the day and then illuminated at night. You will commonly find this type of marking on somewhere like a car dashboard.
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