Laser marking is one of the many processes done with the help of a laser, and it is widely adopted and used today due to its numerous benefits. Laser marking is the process of marking and labeling the materials and workpieces with a laser beam. It is an ink-free process which produces permanent, scratch proof and rub-free markings on the surface of a material. There are different processes to do so, such as staining, removing, engraving, and foaming. Each of these processes has its own advantages and disadvantages. Their usage mainly depends on the type of material being used and the quality needed for the marking.
Different laser marking processes:
- Laser engraving – It is the process where the targeted surface is melted by using a laser beam which leaves an impression on the surface.
- Laser etching – It is the process of removing coating or lacquer layer from the material. Ablation marking raises the temperature above the point of vaporization of the surface. This doesn’t damage the base material.
- Annealing Laser marking – It is a unique laser etching process where the heat produced from the laser beam oxidize the surface leading to a change of colors on the material.
- Color marking – Staining is the process where a chemical reaction between the materials happens through a laser beam. Light colored plastic materials are stained by a laser beam, which results in marking due to the soot particle thus produced.
- Carbonizing – The process produces strong contrasts on bright surfaces. It is commonly used on biopolymers and polymers such as wood and leather. The laser heats the surface, which emits oxygen, hydrogen, or both. Carbonizing results in high marking due to the high carbon concentration.
Laser marking is very popular because of the countless benefits that it offers to the manufacturer. It saves a lot of costs and produces the much-desired results. Let’s have a look at the common benefits of laser marking.
The benefits of laser marking
- No contact is needed – As the marking is done with the laser beam, the process is no contact process. Laser beams only affect the area that is being heated without resulting in damage to the surrounded area.
- No stripping of material – Laser marking is a unique process in a way that it doesn’t take away the material that it works on. The laser beam heats the target area leading to its oxidation, which changes the color of the surface of the material and thus leaving a permanent mark.
- Superior quality – Laser markings leave high quality and precise marking, which is easily read by human eyes and machines. The marks produced by laser are permanent and can be traced easily. Some parts need tracing back to their source, so laser marking is very useful in such cases.
Laser marking works with high precision. Even with very small measurements, it can work efficiently, leaving small yet high-quality marks. The laser beams used in laser markings are very powerful, controllable, and reliable.
- Works well with any material – The process works well with any material. This is especially useful for industries which use multiple materials. It can work impressively with material like glass, plastics, ceramics, silicon, and metals.
- Works on any shapes and sizes of material – As laser markings are suitable for any material; it is also perfect with a range of shapes and sizes. No matter if the object is a large one or a small and complicated one, laser markings can work wonderfully on all kinds.
- Adaptable – Another benefit of using lasers is that it can be used with multiple processes with one single set up. This saves a lot of money and costs of the manufacturers.
- Environment-friendly – Laser marking is environment-friendly because there is no use of chemicals and inks like traditional marking methods. Some lasers like fiber lasers even take less electrical energy than other processes.
With technological development, many advanced laser systems are being introduced, and the most recent of all is the LASIT laser system created in 2016. LASIT, an established firm, has created a unique robotic system for laser marking. The laser houses 20 Kg ABB arm which can easily reach to any position on the exposed sides of casting, thus offering the maximum flexibility for laser marking.
As the demand of the industry keeps evolving, more advancement is seen in the laser industry. Recent laser markers use sophisticated technology, offering a high level of precision and quality of marking.