laesr marking laser types

Laser Marking
with Trotec Laser Machines

How to laser mark

What is laser marking?

"Laser marking" stands for marking or labeling of workpieces and materials with a laser beam. In this regard, different processes are distinguished, such as engraving, removing, staining, annealing and foaming. Depending on the material and the quality requirement, each of these procedures has its own advantages and disadvantages.

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How does a laser work?


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.

Due to the high precision of the laser marking process, even very delicate graphics, 1-point fonts, and tiny geometries will yield clearly legible results. Another added bonus of laser marking is the consistently high-quality results it delivers.

High speed marking

Laser marking results in high productivity and cost benefits during manufacture due to the fact that laser marking is one of the quickest marking process available. The type, size and structure of the material, along with the laser source (e.g. fiber laser) and laser machine (e.g. galvo laser) can further increase the speed of the laser marking process.

Durable marking

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


What materials can be laser marked?

 

Metals

  • Stainless steel, aluminum, gold, silver, titanium, bronze, platinum or 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

 

Depending on the material, different laser types are used for laser marking (solid-state and CO lasers).


Different processes of laser marking

Annealing marking

Annealing marking is a special type of laser marking for metals. The heat from the laser beam causes an oxidation process underneath the material surface which 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 which consequently means the laser beam removes the material. The thus produced impression in the surface is the engraving.

More information on laser engraving...

Removing

During removing, the laser beam removes the top coats of the substrate. A contrast is produced as a result of the different colours of top coat and substrate. Common materials that are laser marked by way of removing of material include anodised aluminum, coated metals, foils and films, or 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

Trotec offers a wide range of laser machines for marking a large variety of materials.

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