Laser marking is one of the most used technologies for marking. Many companies using traditional methods for marking are now moving over to laser technology for accurate, precise, and quick marking solutions. However, laser technologies used for marking also differs a lot in the procedures. Here we will discuss some of the most common procedures that laser marking equipment uses to mark different materials.
Anneal marking is mostly related to metals like high-grade steel, different types of steel, iron, and titanium. Annealing marking is done when an oxide layer is formed on a metal through extensive heat. Most of the times, the oxide layer is black but it can be altered to other colors like green, yellow, and red. The different colors depend largely on the intensity of heat applied and the amount of layers on the surface. The best part about annealing marking is that the surface remains even, as no part of the material is removed.
Color Changing Through Frothing
This type of laser marking is mostly used on plastics as they are good at absorbing light. The color pigments in plastics are altered and they vaporize due to heating. This way the color changes and a frothing effect can be felt on the material’s surface. The type of discoloration largely depends on the material as darker plastics tend to discolor to white and white plastics discolor to black or shades of grey.
Color Change through Material Removal
This type of marking technique is used in anodized aluminum, coated materials, as well as in labeling and packaging. The existing layers of the material are slightly removed to as the material absorbs high intensity lasers and certain layers evaporate (depending on the results required). As the surface layer and the base material are of different colors, the marking becomes clear and visible.
When laser engraving is done, a layer of the material is removed so that the engraving effect can be achieved. Materials like ceramics, metals and plastics can be conveniently engraved using laser marking machines. The high intensity laser penetrates the surface, creating a noticeable depression of up to 50 nanometers in that area. Since the material may simultaneously react with the surrounding air, a discoloration effect can also be achieved.
These are just some of the methods laser marking uses to achieve the desired results. However, most of these effects depend on the type of machinery used and the materials to be marked. For some of the best marking machinery, be sure to check out our collection of high quality laser marking machinery