Tips for laser marking systems

Need A Laser marking Systems?

Whether that need is for company branding or to meet industrial and government regulations, manufactures are using laser marking systems to mark and engrave permanent identification on their metal and plastic parts.

Permanent Identification Marks:

  • Serial Numbers, Date Codes
  • 1D and 2D Barcodes, UDI Codes
  • Regulation Compliance Marking
  • MFG Lot/Batch Number Tracking
  • Logos, Graphics, or any Custom Mark

Which laser marking systems is right for you?

Selecting the right laser marking systems for your application is based on a number of factors. You’ll need to consider what type of material you are marking, what type of marking process you need, the depth and quality of mark desired, the cycle time and of course the budget. Below is an overview of the different types of laser marking processes. The easiest approach is to send us your part samples to have tested in our laser lab.Contact us and let us help you choose the rightlaser marking systems for your laser application.

Laser marking processes:

TRIUMPHLASER provides laser systems for: annealing, dark marking, engraving, etching, ablation and foaming.

Laser annealing/dark marking

The marking process of annealing is basically a thermal reaction. No material is removed like with the engraving process. Annealing occers when the laser beam applies low heat to the surface of a parts material, slightly altering its properties, creating oxide layers. The result is a visible and permanent mark, but it cannot be felt since the material is not upset, moved or displaced by this marking process. This type of mark is also referred to as a heat mark.

Annealing can result in a variety of colors, but the result is completely determined by the parts material composition and how it reacts to the oxide layers. Best color results are seen on titanium and steel. Most heat marks will result in a dark or black mark. Which is why this process is commonly also referred to as black annealing or dark marking.

What types of material can be annealed?

  • Carbon containing metals can be used for annealing and dark marking
  • Typically best on Titanium, Steel, Stainless Steel, Iron and Carbide.

What Industries or applications use the annealing process?

  • Annealing is very common in the Medical and Aerospace industries.
  • Because material is not moved or displaced in the annealing process, that eliminates the possibility of surface grooves, which prevents the potential for bacteria to grow or for any type of corrosion to occur.
  • Laser marking and laser annealing are best for 1D and 2D Barcodes, UDI Codes, and Logos.

Laser etching/laser ablation

Etching and Ablation are both forms of engraving, with the exception that only a small amount of material is removed. Usually the process involves removing a coating layer from the base material. Typically the sub level material is a different color, creating a nice contrast mark.

laser marking systems

What types of material are used for laser etching and laser ablation?

  • Bare or plated metals, lacquer coated material and special layering films.

What industries or applications use the etching or ablation process?

  • Automotive, Aerospace, Electronics, Firearms, Packaging, Heavy Construction Equipment and many more.

Laser engraving

Unlike the low heat used in annealing, laser engraving involves a process with greater heat. The high powered laser beam physically removes the surface of the material creating a cavity in its place. The result is a permanent mark that can both be seen and felt.  Reaching the ideal engraving depth is achieved mostly by the number of passes.

What types of material can be laser engraved?

  • Metals, ceramics, organics like wood, and several plastics can be engraved with a laser.

What industries or applications use the engraving process?

  • Laser engraving is often used for deep markings, where a substantial amount of material is displaced or removed and cannot be covered up after a typical painting or coating is applied to the part.
  • Laser engraving is also beneficial for parts that will experience high wear, such as drill bits in the Oil Field industry.
  • Typical Laser engraving applications are serial numbers, date codes, manufacturing lot and batch numbers for traceability.

Laser foaming

Foaming occurs when the heat from the laser beam melts the surface of the material. When the surface is melted, it creates a “foaming” layer of gas bubbles, the result is a raised mark. Foaming changes the surface finish of the part, altering its appearance and creating a contrast mark.

What types of material are best for laser foaming?

  • Laser foaming is not used on metal, it works best on polymers and ceramics.

What industries or applications use the foaming process?

  • Laser foaming is used in the automotive and packaging industry. This techniques is specific to plastic marking.