The laser marking technique involves using a low-powered beam, moved slowly across the material, to create high contrast markings. Heat from the laser beam causes oxidation on the surface of the material, turning the treated area black. The material surface is left intact. Laser marking is commonly used on stainless steel and titanium but is equally effective on a broad range of materials.
Laser part marking systems provide a durable method of product identification that can be used for to produce bar codes, QR codes, logos, and other identifying marks. Some of the benefits of laser marking include:
- High quality, permanent markings
- Works on irregularly-shaped surfaces
- Non-contact marking method
- Precise and highly efficient
What is The Difference Between Laser Marking vs. Engraving or Etching?
The difference between the laser marking technique and engraving or etching is that it does not penetrate below the material surface, which is ideal for applications involving thin or delicate materials. Since it does not require direct contact with the material surface, there is also a significantly reduced chance of the surface being disrupted or damaged.
Laser marking systems also generate less heat than other processes, making the method suitable for use on a variety of materials including plastic, metals, and painted or coated surfaces.
Laser Part Marking Systems Produce Permanent, High Quality Results
Laser marking machines typically utilize YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet) lasers, which are one of the most common types of solid-state laser and are used for myriad applications. The laser we use for YAG laser marking produces a 1064nm (1.064 microns) wavelength, making it ideal for absorption by most metals and some plastics.
We use high speed, state-of-the-art laser marking machines that provide superior results on metals and a variety of plastics. We utilize three different laser marking system including green, YAG and UV lasers to meet a range of material and marking requirements and will help you select the best process for your products.
Laser Marking Techniques for Product Identification
Different methods we offer for laser marking parts include:
- Laser Annealing: The surface of the material is locally heated to form a very thin oxide layer. Different colors can be created depending on the power that is applied to the laser.
- Material Removal: Coated materials can be marked by removing the top layer with a laser. The anodized layer on aluminum is often removed to produce a clear, clean mark.
- Change in Color or Bleaching: This process is most commonly performed on plastics. The structure of the individual molecules or additives, such as color pigments, are directly changed or removed through laser marking. A change in color or bleaching is then visible on the material, creating a mark.
- Foaming: Foaming is only possible on certain plastics. The laser melts the plastic locally, creating gas bubbles in the material. As it cools, these gas bubbles are encapsulated in the material. A raised surface is then formed, creating the marking.
Contact Us to Discuss Your Laser Marking Project
Arrow Cryogenics provides laser marking, laser etching and other services for permanent product identification. Request a quote today or contact us to discuss your unique product identification requirements.