A laser marking machine, as the name suggests, is a machine that serves to mark or label materials or workpieces with the aid of a laser beam. Several processes are involved when using a laser marking machine. Some of these processes include engraving, staining, removing, foaming, and annealing. Each of these processes has its advantages and disadvantages. However, it depends largely on their quality and the material being used.
The workpiece used usually comes in different shapes and sizes. They can be complex components, flat surfaces, or flexible surfaces. Either way, everything can be labeled. As a result, even surfaces with edges that are difficult to access can still be marked by a laser marking machine, because marking takes place without the machine making any contact with the surface. The laser marking machine can mark a wide range of materials such as plastics, metals, and even coated materials. The information labeled on the material can include simple numbers, text sections, codes, logos, and even images.
One common process when using the laser marking machine is the color change. Here, the machine labels with high contrast without causing any damage to the surface of the material being used. This process can be used with different materials including metals and plastics. During the color change process, the material becomes heated up by the laser beam, causing a high contrast change. Because the laser is restrictive locally, very fine lines can be drawn on the surface of any material.
LASER MARKING PROCESSES
- Annealing Marking
In this process, heat from the laser causes oxidation below the surface of the material, thereby, causing a change in color on the surface of the metal.
Here, the laser beam generates a heat effect which causes a chemical reaction in the material. This process can lead to a color change, depending on the composition of the material used.
- Laser Engraving
In laser engraving, the surface of the workpiece used is melted and allowed to evaporate. The material is removed by the laser beam, producing a mark on the surface of the material.
The laser beam removes the top coats which were applied on the surface of the substrate. Because of the different colors formed by the substrate and the top coat, a contrast is produced.
Here, the material used is melted, causing a production of gas bubbles which reflects the lights diffusely. This way, the markings will be lighter than those places that were not etched.
BENEFITS OF USING A LASER MARKING MACHINE
- Precise Marking
The laser marking machine is very precise, and as such, delicate graphics, small geometrics, and even small fonts can be created perfectly. In addition, using the laser marking machine ensures that you get quality results constantly. Hence, no matter how small your label is, you can be sure of a precise result.
- High Speed of Marking
Another benefit of using the laser marking machine is the speed at which it does its work. Because of its high speed, you stand to get not just high productivity but cost benefit as well. Different laser machines such as the galvo lasers and the fiber lasers can help increase the marking speed, depending on the material used.
- Durable Marking
Labels or marks created with the laser marking machine are permanent, and they are resistant to heat, acid, and abrasion. When the parameter settings of the laser are configured properly, some materials can be labeled without causing damage to the surface.
MATERIALS THAT CAN BE MARKED
Several materials can be marked by laser marking machines. Some of the materials include stainless steel, bronze, titanium, aluminum, gold, silver, copper, platinum, polycarbonate, ABS, polyamides, paints, laminates, foils and films.