What is laser marking?
Laser marking stands for marking or labeling parts and materials with a laser beam. Different processes are distinguished, such as engraving, removing, staining, annealing and foaming.
Depending on the material and the quality requirement, each of the following procedures has its own advantages and disadvantages.
During laser engraving, the part surface is melted and evaporated with the laser. Consequently, the laser beam removes the material skin.
The laser beam removes the top coats applied to the substrate usually the packaging. A contrast is produced as a result of the different colors of top coat and substrate base.
Common materials that are laser marked by means of removing coating material include anodized aluminum, coated metals, foils and films, or laminates.
In the staining method, the heat effect generated by the laser beam causes a chemical reaction in the material. Depending on the material composition, this will result in different color shades.
For example, if a light plastic material is discolored during laser etching, soot particles may be produced that will result in a dark 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.
In this process the laser beam melts a material. Gas bubbles are produced in the material, which reflect the light diffusely.
The marking will turn out lighter than the areas that have not been etched. This type of laser marking is used mainly for dark plastics.
What materials can be marked with a laser?
Metals: Stainless steel, aluminum, gold, silver, titanium, bronze, platinum and copper.
Plastics: ABS, polycarbonate, P.E.T., polyamide, PMMA or plastics special with laser additives.
Packaging: coatings, foils and films.
Synthetic materials: Laminates, composites.