Yes! It is easy to process many different types of metal with Trotec laser engravers and laser markers. The technology that makes up a Trotec laser machine enables metal marking through three different methods: Annealing marking, engraving and removing. Below, you will find a detailed explanation of these methods.
You must ensure that you have a laser etching machine with a fiber laser source. Find more information about different laser types here.
Laser marking metal, method 1: Annealing
During annealing, you work with a defocused laser beam, allowing you to only add a low temperature of heat to the material. This heat output leads to a local change in the physical structure of the metal, resulting in recolouring. The surface is not damaged – it remains smooth and clean. The process can generate different shades and colours depending on the temperature used.
The marking will disappear again when the metal is reheated to about 200°C.
Laser marking metal, method 2: Engraving
More energy is used while laser metal engraving than with annealing. This leads to the vaporisation of material as well as local depressions in the surface. These inscriptions are permanent and resistant to marks and abrasions.
Laser marking metal, method 3: Removing
Coated metals, like anodised aluminium, have their top layer removed by laser processing. This is a quick, easy process than can be carried out at very high speeds. Depending on the top layer’s material, high-contrast marking is possible with this method.
Raw metals can only be marked with a CO2 laser with the assistance of marking solutions, like pastes and sprays. These can be applied to the workpiece, and burnt into the material during the laser processing. Following this, the remaining paste needs to be washed off.
You can only achieve high contrasts on metals with weak absorption qualities with CO2 machines.