Laser marking is an effective solution for precise and permanent marking and labeling and has grown in popularity due its reliability and consistency. The process involves using a low-powered beam that moves slowly across the material to generate heat, leaving behind a high contrast mark. Laser marking machines are typically used on materials such as titanium and stainless steel, though they are suitable for use with a wide range of materials.
There are several advantages to laser part marking over standard ink printing processes. The first is that laser marking is an efficient and simple process that allows for higher productivity. Laser marking also produces permanent markings that are clear and easy to read. There is no drying time involved or risk of the markings being removed or altered. Laser marking machines don’t require an etching tool and therefore never touch the material, helping to reduce contamination and prevent surface damage that could be caused by marking processes involving tools.
Laser Part Marking Industries and Uses
Laser marking machines offer consistent, high precision marking that is permanent and more economical and environmentally-friendly than processes involving ink. It is also a cost-effective process that can be used on materials ranging from hard metals to soft silicone, whether the surface is flat or curved, without causing damage. Laser part marking provides a permanent solution for marking and tracking products.
Laser marking is used by numerous industries including:
There are various laser marking techniques that are accomplished using different machines and laser types. Some common techniques include foaming, carbonizing, staining, removing, annealing and bleaching. The technique and laser type chosen is determined based on the material type and desired result.
Laser park marking is often used to create:
- QR Codes
- UI codes
- Logos and graphics
- Product and package labeling
Laser Marking Machine Types
Arrow Cryogenics uses different laser marking machines and laser types based on your material and intended application. The lasers we use are categorized by type and wavelength, with each laser marking machine producing a different desired effect including discoloration, engraving and cutting.
UV lasers have a 355 nm wavelength (THG wavelength) and fall under the invisible spectrum ultraviolet (UV) and are suitable for high-contrast marking because they have a high absorption rate and generate minimal heat stress, minimizing product damage.
Green lasers have a 532 nm wavelength (SHG wavelength) and fall in the visible spectrum of light wavelength distribution. Their wavelength is about half that of other lasers and they have a high absorption rate that limits heat stress, making them suitable for highly sensitive materials such as silicone.
YAG lasers are highly common and used for various applications. They have a standard 1064 nm wavelength and are suitable for high-power applications involving most metals and some plastics.
Laser Part Marking Materials
Laser part marking can be used on a wide range of materials, making it a versatile and cost-effective process. Materials have different absorption rates, based on the wavelength (nm) produced by the laser marking machine. Highly sensitive materials may require the use of a shorter wavelength laser such as green laser marking, whereas other materials can withstand YAG lasers and other standard laser marking machines.
Some of the common materials used for laser park marking include:
- Aluminum (Anodized & Hardcoat Anodized)
- Stainless Steel