Laser Engraving Service : Laser Engraving (or Laser Etching) is a Subtractive Manufacturing method, that uses a laser beam to change the surface of an object. This process is mostly used to create images on the material, that may be seen at eye level. To do so, the laser creates high heat that will vaporize the matter, thus exposing cavities that will form the final image. It is using the laser for marking the surface of an item.
Although many different materials are being used in the industry these days, it is still said that metal is still the king of all materials. It is being used in almost every other object that we see or use. Metals are durable, practical, thermally resistant and aesthetically appealing to all other materials being used. Due to their widespread use in the industry, engraving metals have become critically important. Be it in order display, permeability, aesthetic design or shape making, laser engraving technology. Laser engraving machines for metals have completely changed the performance sector of industries.
The popularity of metal engraving machines has led them to large industries as well as cottage industries. There are laser engravings of different price ranges that offer special practicality, making it easy for almost everyone to buy them.
Industries that work on automobile parts, machines, pipes, hardware and tools use laser engraving to etch and track barcodes, serial numbers, and logos.
Firms of almost every scale try to introduce traceability on their product as it helps them to monitor their quality and maintain their distinct identity. A Laser Engraving Machine for Metal leaves a permanent mark for such applications. These engraving are not only legible but also permanent. This feature makes it a once-in-a-lifetime job, which avoids wear and prevents product tampering.
Metal laser engraving is highly accurate. Due to their accuracy, in addition to heavy industrial metal parts, measuring instruments are also marked and graduated with them. This is something that distinguishes laser engraving from other types of engravers. Even dot peen engraving cannot fully engrave the smallest possible detail on measuring instruments as laser engraving. Due to the mechanical engraving system of lasers, markings are finished without the option of human error. What does a measuring device look like? Accuracy and precision, right? Laser engravers do it for you.
When it comes to the medical field, the administration is responsible for maintaining the ability to identify and locate devices. Can you guess which type of equipment is being used for such a purpose? Laser marking medical device is the correct answer and yes, you are correct!
Applications of laser engraving would not end if we continued to discuss them. This is the scope of this magical invention. First let's talk about the types of laser notation:
There are basically three types of laser marking, laser etching, and laser engraving. While those three may sound similar, they are not!
It all has to do with what the laser does to the surface and how it happens. In the case of laser marking, the metal surface is faded that displays information. In the case of laser etching and engraving, the laser substrate removes the metal surface leading to a type of indentation. But how do these two types differ later? Well, the answer is depth of indentation. Laser engraving creates a deeper indentation than the etching process. Engraving is basically removing the material mechanically while etching is removing the material through heat.
Laser marking can be performed with relatively low powered laser devices. Since the beam is low power, it does not raise the temperature of the substrate metal much as in the case of the other two techniques. The four major types of laser marking are annealing, foaming, carbon migration, and dyeing. This laser technique is less common than engraving and etching.
Laser engraving extracts the substrate material at relatively high temperatures so high-power laser beams are used in such techniques. This high temperature vaporizes the substrate metal. This is much quicker and creates deeper indentations than the other two techniques. Laser engraving is not recommended for parts that are important for safety, but rather for parts that are subject to wear and tear. It can be used to make indentations on materials other than metals such as wood, plastic, leather, and glass.
The laser etching method is rather a child of laser engraving. In this technique, the heat of the beam creates indentations in the substrate material. Decreasing depth can be achieved through etching but certainly no more than engraving. Etching also changes the behavior of the metal surface like contrast and hence sensitivity. Etching is best suited for plated metals but the scope is not limited to metals only. It also engraves ceramics and polymers.
The time has come to discuss the various types of laser engraving machines currently used in industries. There are three main types of laser engraving machines, namely CO2 laser marking machines, fiber laser marking machines and crystal laser marking machines.
CO2 Laser Engraving Machines:
CO2 laser engraving machines apply a gaseous mixture of CO2 that undergo electrical treatment to create a laser beam. The wavelength of the CO2 laser beam is about 10.6 μm. This type of wavelength is suitable for engraving on non-metallic parts such as wood, plastic, textiles, paper, and glass. To find out the right type of CO2 laser engraving machine, try checking laser engraving.
Fiber Laser Engraving Machines:
Talk about a magical invention for your metal marking or engraving needs? Fiber laser technology is here for you! This type of technique belongs to a group of solid-state lasers. The lasers used in fiber laser engraving machines have a wavelength of about 1.06 μm. Due to such short wavelengths, fiber metal laser engraving machines actually create a smaller focal diameter. Due to the shorter wavelength, the intensity of fiber laser engraving machines is one hundred times greater than that of CO2 technology. Fiber laser engraving machines are the best choice for metal parts due to high power beam, small wavelength and small focal diameter. A 50W laser engraving is an example of such high power fiber laser marking machines.
Fiber laser engraving machines for metals are generally maintenance-free and can provide a service life of approximately 25k hours.
When it comes to fiber laser engraving machines, heat sine is no match. If you are looking for durable and efficient machinery, then you want to check their products.
Crystal lasers, like fiber lasers, also belong to the same class of solid state lasers. The diodes are responsible for the generation of these crystal lasers. The doping elements present in these diodes are neodymium and carrier crystals. The wavelength of such a laser is also around 1.064 μm, build it appropriate for mark on metals and plastics.
Unlike fiber lasers, crystal lasers cannot give you maintenance-free time. This is mainly due to the diode. These diodes deteriorate over time so maintenance is required. You must perform your scheduled maintenance after applying the laser for 15k hours. Crystal lasers work on fully coated metals, but their scope extends beyond metals. Crystal lasers can also be engraved on plastic and ceramics.
About this time we discuss metals that can engrave laser engraving machines for metals. Bear with us!
The following is a list of metals that can be engraved using metal laser marking machines:
- Anodized Aluminum
- Stainless Steel
Aluminum is extensively used in making crankcases, crank cases and aesthetic body parts covers in automobile industries. The aluminum surface has a high thermal conductivity. Fiber laser engraving machines can carve aluminum at very high temperatures. It can create engraving with high contrast markings. If working fast, aluminum supports laser etching but laser engraving leaves a stronger and lasting effect on the metal. The mainly general type of aluminum use for engraving function is 380 and 6061, but this does not mean that the rest are not compatible. It is only about the more common types.
Among general-purpose metals, steel is one of the strongest materials out there. Surface treatment requires more time, so engraving is comparatively difficult or we can slow (slightly) in the case of steel. It is said that the speed can be increased by adjusting or compromising the color of the marking. High engraving speeds produce white marks and low speed black marks. In addition to etching or engraving, the annealing laser on the steel gives greater corrosion resistance. Rust is the biggest enemy of steel, so you don't want to waste your stuff by exposing it to your worst enemy. Steel tubes, sheets, pipes, and springs are the most common products that undergo laser engraving.
Industries typically use grades 316 and 306 stainless steel for laser engraving purposes. Again, this is not just about these two types. Similar to plain steel, laser annealing prevent SS from catching rust. The oxide coating of chromium oxide on the surface remains unfamiliar in the case of laser annealing. The SS repairs the laser at a relatively low temperature compared to other laser marking procedures. Aesthetic parts, railings, fuel tanks and suspensions made of stainless steel are substrate products of laser technology.
In the case of anodized aluminum, there are two possibilities. You can either engrave on the aluminum without the oxide layer or you can do it on top of the oxide layer. In the former case, aluminum is engraved before anodize and vice versa. Despite the engraving order, resistance to anodized aluminum remains intact.
Industries use magnesium whenever they have to make lighter parts. Laser engraving can efficiently mark such light parts. In dot peen marking, on the other hand, the part requires a strong grip during the process as it engraves by applying a force. Therefore it may not be the best technique for making marks on light parts made of magnesium. Parts such as gearbox, steering wheel and engine casing contain magnesium. Engines are the most important part of any vehicle for traceability purposes. Therefore it is important to engrave them with identification codes or information. Laser engraving works quickly and completely, giving you relief about the entire traceability process.
Unlike aluminum, lead has low thermal conductivity. This low conductivity means that the heat generated during laser engraving will not dissociate in the surrounding environment, but will remain on the surface. However it is easy to dig up the lead with laser marking machines since the low marking temperature. This makes the engraving process easier and therefore faster. Make sure you buy a low power fiber laser engraving machine if a lead substrate is metal. Lead combines to form counterweight and key ingots become the raw material for many industries. Anything and everything made of metal requires an identification mark, so don't forget to use laser marking technology for this job.
When it comes to engraving on metals, laser technology is second to none. Laser technology is more efficient, quick, reliable, accurate and maintenance-free. As can be seen from the information above, laser engraving is almost universal engraving machines that can also be used on metals, non-metals and organic materials.
If you are working in an industry that deals only with metals, then you should definitely go for laser marking and engraving machines. Dot peen machines are good but not as good as fiber laser machines. These laser machines do not tamper with the metal surface unlike dot peen marking machines. Forget about traditional methods for traceability and metals-based information. Take a step into the future and choose laser engraving machines for metals. Not only does this laser engraving process your products on time, but also make them surprisingly professional.
Although all types of laser engraving machines are great but fiber laser is the latest for all and therefore boasts some great features. The speed, depth, accuracy, and accuracy of fiber lasers are currently no match. They can make engraving so much easier and discharge their burden of worrying activity of transferring information on their product.
Know your metals and choose the right kind of laser engraving machine for your business. It’s time to lead a business like a professional.