Metal marking with a CO2 laser
Laser marking blank metals using a CO2 laser is only possible with the addition of a laser marking solution such as a spray or paste. The solution must be applied prior to laser marking, as it needs to dry before being processed. The laser will burn into the solution when marking, and once the process is finished the excess solution should be wiped from the workpiece (stainless steel in our example).
It is essential when marking sensitive surfaces or expensive items such as watches to use a laser marking spray. A laser marking solution is classed as a hazardous material, therefore you must adhere to the relevant safety regulations to protect yourself and staff when using them.
A CO2 laser is not suitable for marking metals without an additional marking solution. For the metal to react to the laser a high power is required, while the process must be slow to achieve the result. This results in a lot of energy being introduced onto the material, which will deform as it is heated. In this instance the resulting engraving, such as small font, cannot be seen.