What materials can be marked with a laser?
Stainless steel, aluminum, gold, silver, titanium, bronze, platinum or copper
The laser has been serving well for many years, particularly when it comes to laser engraving and laser marking metals(https://www.stylecnc.com/fiber-laser-marking-machine/). Not only soft metals, such as aluminum but steel or very hard alloys can also be marked accurately, legibly and quickly using a laser. With certain metals, such as steel alloys, it is even possible to implement corrosion-resistant markings without damaging the surface structure using annealing marking. Products made of metal are marked with lasers in a wide range of industries.
Polycarbonate(PC), Polyamide(PA), Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer (ABS), Polyimide (PI), Polystyrene (PS), Polymethylmetacrylate (PMMA), Polyester (PES)
Plastics can be marked or engraved with lasers in a variety of ways. With a fiber laser, you can mark many different commercially used plastics, such as polycarbonate, ABS, polyamide, and many more with a permanent, quick, high-quality finish. Thanks to the low set-up times and flexibility a marking laser(https://www.stylecnc.com/laser-marking-machine/) offers, you can mark even small batch sizes economically.
Different processes of laser marking
Annealing marking is a special type of laser etching for metals. The heat effect of the laser beam causes an oxidation process underneath the material surface, resulting in a color change on the metal surface.
During laser engraving, the workpiece surface is melted and evaporated with the laser. Consequently, the laser beam removes the material. The thus produced impression in the surface is the engraving.
During removing, the laser beam removes the top coats applied to the substrate. A contrast is produced as a result of the different colors of top coat and substrate. Common materials that are laser marked by way of removing of material include anodized aluminum, coated metals, foils and films, or laminates.
During foaming, the laser beam melts a material. During this process, gas bubbles are produced in the material, which reflect the light diffusely. The marking will thus turn out lighter than the areas that have not been etched. This type of laser marking is used mainly for dark plastics.
Carbonizing enables strong contrasts on bright surfaces. During the carbonizing process the laser heats up the surface of the material (minimum 100° C) and oxygen, hydrogen or a combination of both gases is emitted. What's left is a darkened area with higher carbon concentration.
Carbonizing can be used for polymers or bio-polymers such as wood or leather. Since carbonizing always leads to dark marks, the contrast on dark materials will be rather minimal.
General knowledge about laser here.
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