Laser marking and laser engraving metal

Metals such as aluminum, silver, steel, stainless steel and many more

industrial marking and marking of promotional products

The laser has been serving well for many years, particularly when it comes to laser engraving and laser marking metals. Not only soft metals, such as aluminum but steel or very hard alloys can also be marked accurately, legibly and quickly using a laser. With certain metals, such as steel alloys, it is even possible to implement corrosion-resistant markings without damaging the surface structure using annealing marking. Products made of metal are marked with lasers in a wide range of industries: The applications range from the marking of industrially produced series products for traceability to the personalization of promotional items with logos or names.

Suitable metals for laser marking and engraving:

  • Stainless Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Anodized aluminum
  • Hardened metals
  • Alloyed steels
  • High-speed steels
  • Titanium, titanium alloys
  • Carbides
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Precious metals (e.g. silver, gold)
  • Coated metals

Would you like more information about laser marking and laser engraving metals?

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corporate history trotec laser

Industrial laser marking

machine parts metal laser engraved
  • Product labeling
  • Industrial tags
  • Traceability
  • Datamatrix codes
  • Serial numbers
Marking industrial metal products

Promotional Items + Signs

laser marking metal frame
  • Promotional items
  • Mugs, keyrings, etc.
  • Signage
  • Personalization
  • Logos, fotos, text
Marking signs + promotional items
laser marking on metal drill

Industrial laser marking

Examples of applications

Laser marking of metals in the industrial sector

Applications for laser marking metal

Laser application in marking metals are typically used for marking products with traceability features and codes. These applications can be found in the electronics and electrical industry, mechanical engineering and tool manufacturing, in sheet metal processing, medical technology, promotional materials, jewelry and in the automotive industry.

Color marking on stainless steel

A special type of annealing marking on metals involves color marking on stainless steel. Based on the technical possibilities with the MOPA laser, reproducible colors on stainless steel can be marked with a laser. For manufacturers of stainless steel products, this provides them with the opportunity to create special color designations, such as a company logo or functional markings like the indication for hot and cold on stainless steel fixtures.

Read more about the laser marking methods

Industrial laser marking: Examples of applications

Laser applications in the industry:

  • Product labeling as plagiarism protection
  • Functional laser marking e.g. size, diameter, etc.
  • Production information e.g. date of manufacture, batch number or serial number
  • Codes for permanent traceability
  • Data matrix codes for quality assurance
  • Lasering nameplates etc.

Typical industries for color marking

  • Kitchen appliance manufacturers who would like to adorn the stainless steel fronts of the appliances with their color logo
  • Manufacturers of knives and cutlery who want to adorn their stainless steel products with color logos
  • Engravers and job shops who want to expand their product portfolios using the new possibilities
  • Processors of stainless steel trim parts from other industries who want to stand out from the competition with color markings

Laser marking of advertising materials, signs and much more

Typical applications for a laser engraver for metals are the individualization of advertising materials and gifts or signs, as well as industrial applications.

Applications for laser engraving metal

  • Door signs
  • Nameplates
  • Cutlery
  • Thermos flask, hip flask
  • Pocket knife
  • Key Fobs
  • Picture frames
  • Locks
  • Lighters
  • Bottle openers
  • Mobile phones, tablets, laptops
  • Jewelry
laser marking metal frame

Laser engraving for advertising material and signs

Examples of applications

Typical industries:

  • Advertising and gift industry
  • Sign makers
  • Engravers

Cable Tags

Laser Engraving Stainless Steel

In this video we show you the difference between laser engraving stainless steel directly with a Fiber laser, and annealing it with a CO2 laser using Cermark spray. Both methods can be used with our FLEXX technology that holds both laser sources in one machine!

The cable tags can be a great revenue stream for any engraving shop that wants to expand its business to new markets. These tags are made to be tied to cables or pipes and used for their longevity in any climate.

To see more videos like this, have a look at our Youtube channel.

Inspirations for laser applications

laser marking metal macbook

What is the point of buying a laser for the laser marking of advertising materials?

Permanent and cost-effective metal engraving and marking

The laser engraving and marking of metals is a very precise and clean form of metal processing. Advertising material or signs made of metal can be cost-effectively and permanently refined with texts, logos or images. The metal marking or engraving is done by the laser, without contact, and requires no pre- or post-processing. The annealing marking ensures an acid-, chemical- and corrosion-resistant marking without damaging the metal surface.

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Function and advantages of laser technology

Diverse design options using the laser

  • Practically any design can be implemented with the laser
  • Complete freedom in the design of texts, logos, designs, barcodes or serial numbers
  • Even photos can be implemented within a very short time.

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • JobControl® laser software: easy and intuitive to use like a printer

Laser marking is a non-contact material processing

  • Material does not need to be firmly clamped or fixed
  • Time saving and consistently good results

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Broad product portfolio with suitable laser system for every requirement

Laser marking enables cost-effective production

  • Direct marking means no costs for consumables such as inks, chemicals, pastes or sprays.
  • The handling and often expensive disposal of these materials is also dispensed with.
  • No pre- and post-treatment required
  • No tool wear

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Speedy flexx laser machines or SpeedMarker with maintenance-free fiber lasers
  • The robust mechanics of the Trotec laser systems are designed for years of intensive use with minimal servicing.

Laser engraving is a permanent marking

  • The metal engraving is permanent, abrasion-resistant, unforgeable and also thermally and chemically resistant.

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Broad product portfolio with suitable laser system for every requirement.
"We purchased a fiber laser this year and are very satisfied with the purchase. It is very easy to operate and it suits our in-house needs perfectly."
- Luc Tremblay - general manager at RPA Technologie Inc. -
"After careful research on laser technology, we chose Trotec for their quality, user friendly software, level of service and industry reputation. We are very pleased with the output our Speedmarker marking lasers produce and look forward to many years of continuous"
- Lars Budczinski - Q&A manager at H&O Centerless Grinding Co. -
"We have had our Trotec laser engraver for a number of years now, and are pleased with the technology and useability of the machine. It is reliable and we like the fact that it only requires minimal maintenance."
- Chris Macmorine - president of Macfab Manufacturing Inc. -

Trotec Product Recommendation

for the laser marking of promotional items, signs and much more

Laser engraver Speedy flexx

CO2- and fiber lasers in one laser machine for maximum flexibility and endless applications.

More Details

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You want to learn more about Trotec lasers and applications?

Our laser experts are happy to answer your questions about our products and laser processing. They will help you discover all the possibilities of lasers. One solution, thousands of possibilities. Additionally we invite you to see our lasers and applications at one of our demonstration facilities.

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What are the possibilities for laser marking metals?

There are several methods for marking or engraving metals. Depending on the material and the quality requirements, aluminum, steel, stainless steels and other metals can be engraved, marked or polished with a laser beam. The respective methods have special advantages and disadvantages.

How does the laser engraving of metals work?

Engraving is mainly used for stainless steel, alloyed metals and other metals. The engraving or, depending on material removal, deep engraving leaves a noticeable marking. The material is removed, in other words, material evaporates and the color changes. Due to the high energy of the laser engraver, materials such as stainless steel, titanium and other metals are directly vaporized. The brown color that is left behind on the metal can be cleaned using other marking processes (see polishing).

How does polishing work?

Polishing leaves a white marking on stainless steel and other metals. Polishing is a “lighter” form of engraving. The energy of the laser is reduced so that less material evaporates. As a result, less material is removed and on materials such as stainless steel, but also almost all other metals, a white marking is produced.

How does the laser marking of metals work?

The laser marking or annealing marking is an imperceptible marking that does not affect the surface of the material. No material is removed during the annealing marking. By heating the metal, however, a color change is achieved. For example, the color of the stainless steel changes at temperatures between 200°C and 300°C. Different colors can be achieved with different temperatures. The goal is usually a “perfect black”. Perfect black markings are possible on stainless steel and titanium, but not on other metals. Annealing is also possible on alloys that contain iron.

Engrave and mark metals with CO2 or fiber lasers?

The perfect tool for metal marking in terms of productivity and quality is the fiber laser. No pre- or post-treatment of the metal is required. The marking result is uniform and very precise, even for fine details.

Uncoated metals can be marked with a CO2 laser engraving machine using only laser marking solutions. The metal marking solution must be applied to the workpiece. It first needs to dry and then will be burned into the material during the laser process. Once the laser process has finished, the excess marking paste must be washed off.

The marking of sensitive surfaces of high-priced workpieces e.g. watches with laser marking sprays is critical due to cleaning. Furthermore, it is important to note that marking solutions are classified as hazardous materials. Thus, the corresponding safety regulations must be adhered to in order to protect your own safety and that of your employees.

anti friction bearing laser marking

What is the point of buying a laser for industrial metal marking?

Contactless, permanent metal marking:

The marking of metals using a laser engraving machine is a very precise and clean form of metal processing. Markings such as serial numbers, data matrix codes and logos can be added to products and components in the highest resolution. The metal marking or engraving is done by the laser, without contact, and requires no pre- or post-processing. The annealing marking ensures a permanent, acid-, chemical- and corrosion-resistant laser marking without damaging the metal surface.

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Function and advantages of laser technology

Cost-efficient production

  • Direct marking does not increase costs for consumables such as inks, chemicals, pastes or sprays.
  • The need for handling and disposing pricey materials is eliminated.
  • No pre- or post-treatments are required
  • Tool wear is eliminated

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • The SpeedMarker with a maintenance-free fiber laser can be integrated as a laser workstation or into a production line
  • The robust mechanics of Trotec laser systems have been designed for many years of intensive use with minimal servicing.

Marking takes seconds and allows greater output

  • High speed marking with variable data is possible e.g. serial numbers, codes
  • A wide range of markings are possible without retooling or tool changes

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Intelligent and intuitive marking software for ease of use
  • Fast and highly accurate positioning of components by means of a camera system: SpeedMark Vision Smart Adjust
  • Integration of contents from ERP files is possible

Permanent engravings

  • Unlike other technologies, laser marking is permanent and abrasion, heat and acid resistant
  • Especially important for traceability and quality assurance

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Product portfolio with matching fiber laser systems for all requirements
  • Flatbed systems with processing areas of up to 1500 x 1250 mm
  • Galvo workstations with processing areas of up to 1120 x 653 mm
  • OEM galvo fiber lasers for integration into production lines
  • Custom-built systems according to customer requirements

Perfect marking results - fine tools

  • Precise and small shapes can be marked with extreme accuracy
  • Marking processes can be combined to clean the material after processing or to provide a higher contrast (e.g. Data Matrix codes)

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Ideal optics and optimal beam performance thanks to high-quality components
  • Camera-based component positioning for high precision and ease of use

Incredible design opportunities

  • Virtually any design can be created with the laser.
  • It is even possible to create 1-point fonts and tiny shapes that are still clearly legible.
  • Complete freedom in the design of markings, logos, designs, bar codes or serial numbers
  • Even photos can be produced in the shortest possible time.

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • DirectMark or JobControl software for laser marking or engraving directly from the graphics program make everything as easy as printing

Non-contact and reliable material processing capabilities

  • There is no need to firmly clamp down or fixate materials
  • Time savings and consistently good results

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Broad product portfolio with the right laser system for every requirement
  • Highly accurate laser marking even on your "first attempt" thanks to camera-assisted positioning.

Color marking on stainless steel

  • The laser can even produce color markings on stainless steel.
  • Exclusive marking of color logos
  • Functional color marking on stainless steel products

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • With the MOPA laser, reproducible colors can be laser marked
  • Application consultations from Trotec experts
  • Intuitive marking software that can be used to do easy multicolor annealing marking

Trotec Product Recommendations

for industrial laser applications

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