Lasers are a great way to create engravings and markings on anodized aluminum. Depending on the color of the layer, a CO2 laser produces great contrast and a nice, bright engraving, and a fiber laser is a highly effective way for laser marking metal and to mark anodized aluminum. The MOPA laser can also be used for markings in different shades of gray up to a rich black. The surface is not stripped in the process. The result is comparable to the annealing marking on steel. Used on natural anodized aluminum, in particular, a MOPA laser creates a clearly legible, high-quality marking, that can be applied to smartphones and other items.

Suitable materials for a marking laser include:

  • Natural anodized aluminum
  • Anodized layers in all colors

Depending on the requirements and application, anodized aluminum can be engraved or marked.

Impressions


Examples of laser marking metal and engraving aluminum

Applications

Typical applications for laser marking anodized aluminum include high-quality smartphones, promotional items such as ballpoint pens and USB sticks, and industrial applications such as data plates or casings in many other industries.

Industries:

  • Promotional items and gifts industry
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electronics industry (smartphones, tablets, etc.)
  • Tool manufacturing
  • Sheet metal processing (casings)
lasermarking promotional pen

What is the point of buying a laser for the laser engraving and laser marking of anodized aluminum?

Fast, flexible and variable laser marking metal and anodized aluminium
With the laser, you have countless options for marking anodized aluminium. Depending on the batch size or number of units, you can find the ideal flatbed system or Galvo laser to meet your requirements. The marking laser is also very flexible in marking all types of content such as serial numbers, data matrix codes or other variable content. Not only can you engrave anodized aluminum (which removes the anodized layer), you can also produce black markings on the anodized layer. Natural anodized aluminum, in particular, can be marked in all different shades of gray to a rich black. 

Function and advantages of laser technology

Black marking of anodized aluminum

  • High-quality, qualitative markings that increase the value of your products.
  • No removal of the anodized layer and therefore no damage to the surface.

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • SpeedMarker marking lasers with MOPA lasers facilitate this special marking of anodized aluminum.

Cost-efficient production

  • Direct marking means no costs for supplies such as inks, chemicals, pastes or sprays
  • The need to handle and dispose of these materials (which is often very expensive) is also eliminated
  • No pre- and post-treatment is required

Other advantages include:

  • Integration options - The SpeedMarker with a maintenance-free fiber laser can be used as a laser work station or it can be integrated into a production line
  • Long product life with low ownership costs - The robust mechanics of the Trotec laser systems is designed for years of intensive use with minimal servicing

Flexible, dynamic data can be marked

  • Different markings with dynamic content possible without refitting or changing tools

Other advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Intelligent and intuitive SpeedMark marking software can easily process data from existing ERP systems and all dynamic contents in codes

Permanent marking

  • In contrast to other technologies, lasers create permanent markings that are heat, acid and abrasion-resistant
  • Lasers are an efficient and effective way to meet traceability and quality assurance requirements

Other advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Product portfolio with matching fiber laser systems for all requirements
  • Flatbed systems with a working surface up to 1000 x 610 mm
  • Galvo work stations with working surfaces up to 1120 x 635 mm
  • OEM Galvo fiber laser for integration into production lines
  • Customization options to meet unique requirements

Create precise markings

  • Precise and very small geometries can be marked with high accuracy
  • Marking processes can be combined

Other advantages of a Trotec laser

  • High-quality optics and best beam quality thanks to high-quality components
  • Camera-based component positioning for maximum precision and ease of use

Diverse design possibilities

  • Practically any design can be realized with the laser
  • Even 1-point fonts and smallest geometries are still clearly legible
  • Full freedom when designing marking, logos, designs, bar codes or serial numbers
  • Even photos can be applied quickly and easily

Other advantages of a Trotec laser

  • DirectMark or JobControl Software allows you to laser mark directly from the graphics program. It's as simple as printing

Boost production efficiency

  • High-speed marking, even of variable contents (e.g. serial numbers, codes)
  • Different markings possible without refitting or tool change

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Intelligent and intuitive marking software for easy operation
  • Fast and precise positioning of components using a camera system: SpeedMark Vision – Smart Adjust
  • Integrate contents from ERP data files

Product recommendations

Laser marking aluminum in black

Anodized aluminum can be easily laser marked with MOPA lasers. It can produce a variety of gray tones all the way to a rich black. The special thing about it is that the short pulse durations don't damage the surface of the material, or just barely. The anodized layer is not removed, but repainted. Although the process is completely different from the production of annealing colors on stainless steel, the results are comparable.

Especially with natural anodized aluminum, you can create very nice markings. But anodized aluminum in other dark colors can be lasered as black. In combination with conventional engraving (or removal) of the anodized layer, there are many possibilities for marking products made of this material.

Laser engraving anodized aluminum: Inspirations

See an overview of possible laser applications of anodized aluminum

Laser engraving and marking of machine tags, promotional products and signs