Laser marking and laser engraving metal

Use you laser to process metals including anodised aluminium, stainless steel and many more

Industrial laser marking and laser marked promotional products

For many years laser machines have been increasing in popularity, especially for laser marking and laser engraving metals. Soft metals, such as aluminium alongside 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, which is achieved using the annealing method of laser marking. Products made of metal are marked with lasers in a wide range of industries, while the the applications range from the marking of industrially produced series products for traceability to the personalisation of promotional items with logos or names.

Suitable metals for laser marking and engraving:

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

Are you interested in finding out information about laser marking and laser engraving metals?

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corporate history trotec laser

Industrial laser marking

Engraved metal machine part
  • 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
metal drill laser marked

Industrial laser marking

Examples of applications

Laser marking of metals in the industrial sector

Laser marking metal applications

Laser marking metals can be used for a number of applications. Typically they used for marking products for 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, jewellery and in the automotive industry.

Colour marking on stainless steel and titanium

A special type of annealing marking on metals involves colour marking on stainless steel. Based on the technical possibilities with the MOPA laser, reproducible colours can be laser marked on stainless steel and titanium. For manufacturers of stainless steel products, this provides them with the opportunity to create special colour 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

Laser applications in the industry:

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

Typical industries for colour marking

  • Kitchen appliance manufacturers and cutlery manufacturers - Company logo can be applied in colour
  • Engravers and job shops who want to expand their product portfolios 
  • Processors of stainless steel trim parts from other industries who want to stand out from the competition with colour markings

Industrial laser marking: Application examples

Metal coil - laser marked

Why use laser marking for industrial applications?

Contactless, permanent metal marking:

Laser marking is a precise and clean form of metal processing. With laser marking information including serial numbers, data matrix codes and logos can be added to products and components in the highest resolution. Metal marking or engraving with a laser machine is contactless, and certain metals require no pre or post-processing. Annealing laser marking ensures a permanent, acid, chemical and corrosion resistant laser marking without changing or damaging the metal surface.

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Function and advantages of laser technology

Cost-efficient production

  • Direct marking with a fiber laser does not require additional consumables such as inks, chemicals, pastes or sprays
  • Handling and disposing of pricey materials is eliminated
  • No pre or post-treatments are required
  • Tool wear is eliminated

Advantages of a Trotec laser marking machine

  • 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 machines have been designed for many years of intensive use with minimal servicing

Laser 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 marking machine

  • Intelligent and intuitive laser 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, which is especially important for traceability and quality assurance

Advantages of a Trotec laser marking machine

  • Product portfolio with matching fiber laser systems for all laser marking 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 for customer requirements

Perfect laser marking results thanks to fine tooling

  • The smallets shapes and text can be marked preciesly and accuratley
  • Laser marking processes can be combined to clean the material after processing or to provide a higher contrast such as Data Matrix codes

Advantages of a Trotec laser marking machine

  • 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 machine
  • It is possible to create 1-point fonts and  even tiny shapes that are clearly legible.
  • A laser machine offers complete freedom in the design of markings, logos, designs, bar codes or serial numbers
  • Even photos can be re-produced in the shortest possible time.

Advantages of a Trotec laser marking machine

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

Non-contact and reliable material processing capabilities

  • The contactless process negates the need to firmly clamp down or fixate materials
  • A laser offers time savings and consistently good processing results

Advantages of a Trotec laser marking machine

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

Colour marking on stainless steel with MOPA

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

Advantages of a Trotec laser marking machine

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

Trotec Product Recommendations

for industrial laser applications

"The huge bed size of the Speedy 400 we have has allowed us to mark up to 90 components at a time, which has greatly reduced our overheads but also increased the quality of the finished product. We’ve also been able to expand the business, because now we can engrave a company’s logo on their new equipment, which we’ve been able to capitalise on"
- Stuart Rogers, - General Manager of Doughty Engineering Ltd -
"We decided to go with Trotec because the offered the most reasonable solution at the most affordable price. In fact, the machine has been more than reasonable, it has been fantastic! Our laser has allowed us to expand because our production runs are now much faster. On top of this it’s also made things a lot easier because pretty much anyone on staff can be taught how to use the machine."
- - -
"The whole process was quick and painless, from demonstration through delivery, training and setup. Buying a Trotec laser machine has had a huge impact on our business, since the quality of our final product has improved greatly, and we’re saving so much time."
- Simon Barnes - Managing Director, Rohmann UK -
Laser marking metal frame

Laser engraving for advertising material and signs

Examples of applications

Laser marking promotional gifts, signage and more

Typical applications for laser engraving machines are the personalisation of products, marking signage and marking 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
  • Jewellery

Typical industries:

  • Advertising and gift industry
  • Sign makers
  • Engravers

Inspirations for laser applications

Laser marking Ipad

Why use a laser machine for marking promotional materials?

Permanent and cost-effective: Laser marking and engraving metal

Laser engraving and marking metal is a precise and clean form of metal processing. Promotional materials, signs and other applications made of metal can be cost-effectively processed with permanent marking results including texts, logos or images. Laser marking and engraving is a contactless process which requires no pre-or post processing when marked using a fiber laser machine. Using the annealing method of laser marking ensures acid, chemical and corrosion resistant marking results without damaging the material surface.

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Function and advantages of laser technology

Diverse design options: Laser technology

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

Advantages of a Trotec laser machine

  • JobControl® laser software: Easy and intuitive to use, just like a printer

Laser marking: A non-contact processing method

  • As the process is contactless the material does not need to be firmly clamped or fixed
  • This results in time savings and consistently good results

Advantages of a Trotec laser machine

  • Broad product portfolio with suitable laser machine for every requirement

Laser marking enables cost-effective production

  • The direct laser marking process means no costs for additional consumables such as inks, chemicals, pastes or sprays
  • The handling and often expensive disposal of these materials is negated with laser marking
  • No pre or post-treatment required with fiber laser technology+
  • No tool wear

Advantages of a Trotec laser machine 

  • Speedy flexx flatbed laser machines and SpeedMarker industrial laser markers include maintenance-free fiber lasers
  • The robust mechanics of Trotec laser machines are designed for years of intensive use with minimal servicing

Laser engraving creates a permanent marking

  • Once laser processed the metal engraving result is permanent, abrasion resistant, unforgeable and also thermally and chemically resistant

Advantages of a Trotec laser machine

  • Broad product portfolio with a suitable laser machine for every requirement

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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Do you want more information about Trotec laser machines and the possible applications?

Our laser machine experts are happy to answer any questions you have about our products and laser technology. They will help you discover all the possibilities that laser machines offer. One solution, thousands of possibilities. If you want to see a laser machine in action for yourself you can book an appointment at any of our regional showrooms and see our laser machines and possible applications in action. 

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What are the possibilities for laser marking metals?

There are several methods of laser marking or engraving metals. Depending on the material and the quality requirements, aluminium, steel, stainless steels and other metals can be engraved, marked or polished with a laser beam. Each respective method has special advantages and disadvantages.

How does laser engraving metal 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 when laser processed. The material is removed and the color changes. Due to the high energy of the laser engraving machine, materials such as stainless steel, titanium and other metals are directly marked and the surface material vaporised. The brown colour that is left behind on the metal can be cleaned using other laser marking processes (see polishing).

How does polishing work?

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

How does laser marking 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 using the annealing method of laser marking. By heating the metal, however, a colour change is created. For example, the colour of the stainless steel changes at temperatures between 200°C and 300°C. Different colours can be achieved with different temperatures. The goal is usually a “perfect black” marking result. Perfect black marks are possible on stainless steel and titanium, but not on other metals. The annealing method can also be used on alloys that contain iron.

Laser engraving and marking

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 laser marking result is uniform and very precise, even when marking fine details.

Uncoated metals can be marked with a CO2 laser engraving machine only by using laser marking solutions. The metal marking solution must be applied to the workpiece pre processing. 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 such as watches with laser marking sprays is critical due to cleaning. It is important to note that laser marking solutions are classified as hazardous materials. The corresponding safety regulations must be adhered to in order to protect yourself and your employees.

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