laesr marking laser types

Laser Marking with Trotec Laser Machines

How to laser mark?

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What is laser marking?

Laser marking refers to the marking and labelling of workpieces and materials with a laser beam. As a result, different processes are distinguished. These include engraving, removing, staining, annealing and foaming. Each of these procedures has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the material used and quality required.

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Advantages of laser marking

High precision and quality laser marking

Thanks to the high precision of laser marking, even very delicate graphics, 1-point fonts and very small geometries will turn out clearly legible. At the same time, marking with the laser ensures constant high-quality results.

High speed marking

Given that laser marking is one of the quickest marking processes available, it therefore presents huge productivity and cost benefits. The type, size and structure of the material, the laser source (e.g. fiber laser), and the laser machine used (e.g. galvo laser) can further enhance the speed of the laser marking process.

Durable marking

Laser marking provides a permanent result that is resistant to abrasion, heat and acids. Depending on the laser parameter settings used, specific materials can also be marked without damaging the surface.


What materials can be laser marked?

 Metals

  • Stainless steel, aluminium, gold, silver, titanium, bronze, platinum and copper

More information about laser marking metals

Plastics

  • ABS, polycarbonate, polyamide, PMMA or plastics with laser additives

More information about laser marking plastics

Other materials

 

Different laser types are used when laser marking different materials.


Different processes of laser marking

Annealing 

Annealing is a special type of laser marking for metals. The heat from the laser beam causes an oxidation process underneath the material surface which, in turn, results in a colour change on the metal surface.

Staining

During staining, the heat from the laser beam causes a chemical reaction in the material. The material composition will determine the result in different colour shades. For example, if a light plastic material is discoloured during the laser process, soot particles may be produced which will result in a dark marking.

Laser engraving

During laser engraving, the material surface is melted and evaporated. The laser beam thus removes the material and it is this produced impression in the surface that creates the engraving result.

More information on laser engraving

Removing

During this process, the laser beam removes the top coats of the substrate. A contrast is thereby produced as a result of the different colours of the top coat and substrate. The most common materials that are laser marked by way of removing material include anodised aluminium, coated metals, foils, film and laminates.

Foaming

During foaming, the laser beam melts a material. During this process, gas bubbles are produced in the material, which reflect the light diffusely. The marking will thus turn out lighter than the areas that have not been etched. This type of laser marking is used mainly for dark plastics.

Carbonising

Carbonising enables strong contrasts on bright surfaces. During the carbonising process the laser heats up the surface of the material (minimum 100° C) and oxygen, hydrogen or a combination of both gases is emitted. What's left is a darkened area with higher carbon concentration.
Carbonising can be used for polymers or bio-polymers such as wood or leather. Since carbonising always leads to dark marks, the contrast on dark materials will be rather minimal.


Trotec machines for laser marking

We offer a wide range of laser machines that can mark different materials.

  • Flatbed systems with CO2 or fiber laser - Speedy Series
  • Galvo laser machines with fiber or CO2 laser - SpeedMarker Series
  • Galvo marking lasers with fiber laser - ProMarker Series

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