Engraving Metal with a C02 Laser
Uncoated metals can only be marked with a CO2 laser only if they are treated with laser marking solutions such as CerMark and TherMark. The solution must be applied to the workpiece prior to processing. It first needs to dry and then will be burned into the material when engraved. Once the laser process is complete, the solution must be washed off.
A laser marking spray is essential for marking sensitive surfaces or high-priced workpieces. Furthermore, it is important to note that marking solutions are classified as hazardous materials. Be sure to adhere to the appropriate safety regulations instructions.
Without marking solutions, the C02 laser's wavelength (10.6 µm) is cannot engrave metal surfaces. A high laser power is required for the metal to even react to the laser beam. At the same time, the engraving process must be very slow. A lower laser speed results in a high level of energy being concentrated on the material, which will make it heat up and warp. As a result, small details (e.g., small font) are unclear.