Laser marking is the process of distributing components or workpieces using laser technology. A laser beam strikes the material, and its energy makes a response that leaves a permanent mark.
All materials have an absorption spectrum
Wavelengths emitted by the majority of industrial laser systems cannot be seen from the naked eye, so they are hard to imagine. Yet, different substances react differently to different wavelengths.
Each material has a unique composition that absorbs certain wavelengths rather than others. Since lasers create one wavelength, they’re highly specialized tools for indicating very specific materials.
Depending upon your material, you’ll either need a fiber laser system or a CO2 laser method.
The various types of lasers emit different wavelengths based on their profit medium–a component of the laser source.
Fiber laser techniques are best for marking metals
Fiber laser systems are sometimes regarded as solid-state lasers. They’ve a laser source which comprises an optical fiber that includes a rare-earth metal like ytterbium. They create laser light on a wavelength of approximately 1 micrometer (1064 nm).
Gas-state laser techniques are best for signaling organic materials
Gas-state laser techniques have a laser source which includes gas. The most commonly known gas lasers are CO2 lasers. These laser marking systems may produce laser light on wavelengths that range from 9 micrometers to 10.2 micrometers (9,000–12,000 nm). However, as opposed to fiber laser techniques, metals respond poorly with those wavelengths.
Every laser marking process offers distinct possibilities
As an example, you may have to create highly resistant marks that cannot be erased. Or, you might want to fit the marking procedure within a particular cycle time.
To select a laser process, you must understand your needs and your production process.
The laser engraving process is utilized to obtain resistant markings Example of laser engraving By way of instance, laser engraving machines can be used for VIN marking, which generally requires deep markers that guarantee durability and protect against falsification. They may also be utilized for marks that have to be immune to competitive post-treatments like shot blasting.
Laser etching is usually utilized when the laser marking process has to be as quickly as possible to incorporate a manufacturing line. This tech melts the material nearly instantly, creating low and high bulges on the surface of the material.
Laser annealing can be used to protect materials that must not be damaged Example of laser annealing
Laser annealing induces a chemical modification below the material surface. Laser annealing is also used for decorative programs like logos. Though slower than other laser marking processes, it generates the most exquisite surface finish.
Laser ablation may be used to mark by eliminating coatings Example of laser ablation
Laser ablation makes a mark by eliminating from the surface something other than the material (usually paint). Section of this paint can be removed to mark an identifier such as a barcode. Laser ablation is exactly the identical matter as laser cleaning. The only distinction is that the program: the aim is to indicate, not clean. In some specific cases, laser ablation is the quickest laser marking solution. For example, eliminating paint is faster than marking steel.
Different procedures are possible depending on your material
- Stainless steel
Should you raise laser power, you can attain a higher energy density. Since different laser marking technologies require different energy densities, more laser power may be required for specific applications. By way of example, laser engraving is your marking technology which needs the highest energy density.
However, the greater the energy, the greater the cost. Fortunately, if raising laser power is critical in increasing a laser beam’s energy density, then it is only one way.
Laser beams can either be pulsed or constant. Continuous-wave lasers emit laser beams in a constant rate. Pulsed lasers emit laser beams in a set repeat speed.
When a laser beam is pulsed, it may achieve higher peaks of electricity for the same laser power. The quicker you reach it, the less power you have for each blow.
Pulsed laser techniques can thus be used for marking applications that need a greater energy density than continuous-wave laser systems. They can also perform tasks at a greater speed.
More and more production industries are picking lasers because of their marking alternative.
With laser marking, you have to mark directly and permanently on the part. And unlike other marking approaches, the marking process can be performed at the beginning of the production line.
Even when the marking is done before remedies like shot blasting and e-coating, you keep high-quality marks throughout the part’s entire lifetime.
Having no consumables simplifies the marking operation, and it results in improving safety and health at work by substituting technologies which use ink or chemicals. Eliminating consumables can also be cost-effective because you reduce annual operation costs.