Laserax laser machines are designed to be used for metal engraving, marking, and etching with a large variety of both industrial and consumer goods.
Our systems are specifically designed for marking barcodes, 2D codes (Data Matrix Codes), logos and labels. No matter if you need a standalone or inline engraving system, Laserax has laser machines that can meet your requirements.
Laserax laser machines can be used both for ferrous and non-ferrous metals including stainless steel, regular steel, carbon steel, aluminum, and titanium.
The Difference Between Marking, Engraving, Etching and Annealing Metal
Laser marking: Laser marking is the umbrella term that includes laser engraving, etching, and annealing. While the three specific terms are related to a specific process, laser marking refers to the capacity to mark information or a design on a product.
Laser Engraving: Laser engraving is a process in which a laser beam removes a very thin layer of the material on the surface and creates a cavity which shapes a certain image, logo, letter, etc. The laser beam releases a lot of energy through light to vaporize some microns of the material’s surface.
Laser Etching: Through etching, the laser melts the surface at the micron level. This “melting process” creates a small bump on the surface. These bumps create peaks and valleys that capture lights instead of reflecting it. This is how the black color is created. In order to create contrasts, laser engraving and laser etching are often used together in a single code.
Laser Annealing: Laser annealing is a very different process compared to the two discussed above. While the former two involve burning and engraving, laser annealing is about heating. During this process, the light heats the material underneath the surface to induce a chemical change. The result is a change of color. The surface stays slick. This marking technique can only be performed with certain materials such as stainless steel.
In today’s business ecosystem, keeping track of what you ship and where you ship it is not just an option. It is a requirement. Here are some industries that benefit from our traceability solutions.
- Aluminum transformation
- Metal transformation
- Steel transformation
- Aluminum producers
- Die Casting
- Construction materials
Laser Marking in the Automotive Industry
In the automotive industry, the supply chain is very complex, probably one of the most complex in the world. From parts suppliers to sub-assembly manufacturers, OEM and aftermarket resellers, traceability is crucial.
With contrasting Data Matrix Codes engraved by laser markers, key information is embedded into each product and is available to all the players in the automotive value chain.
Laser Marking in the Primary Metals Industry
Laserax laser marking systems are used in plants producing ingots, billets, slab, sows and other semi-finished products all over the world. A wealth of information can be engraved directly on metal products. It is possible to serialize, include a date code, batch number, and texts that contain warnings and instructions or add your logo. Marking metals can help to differentiate your products from those of your competitors.
Is Laser Marking Permanent?
One of the major advantages of laser technology is that it leaves a permanent high-contrast marking on parts without using any consumables. By using data matrix, information can be easily retrieved without being connected to a database.
Laser marking is also resistant to post-process treatments such as e-coating, chromate conversion coating or heat treatment. Laserax has also developed a patent-pending process that makes laser marking resistant to shot blasting.
Laser markings also withstand most chemical agents, salt spray, UV light, acids, and corrosion that happen over time.
How Long Does It Take to Mark with a Laser?
Laser marking is a fast process to make a permanent marking. The time related to proceeding to a marking depends on four factors: the material, the information to mark, the contrast desired and the laser power. Let’s get an overview of the impact of each.
Each material has a different composition that makes marking more or less difficult. For example, the hardness of the material has a major impact on how fast we will be able to mark. A material that is very hard will require more energy and more time to mark. There are also factors related to optical properties of the material such as how the surface reflects light and how it absorbs and conducts the energy.
The information to be marked and the contrast desired
Concerning the information to be marked, it is purely logical: the more information you have to mark, the larger the data matrix will be. And the larger the code to mark, the longer it could take. This same philosophy holds true for the contrast. A pitch-black contrast will take more time than a shade of gray. But in any case, we’re talking about a matter of seconds, depending on the scenario.
The laser power
Laser power is also a matter of logic: the more powerful your laser is, the less time it will take to mark. For example, a 100W laser will perform almost twice as fast as a 50W laser.
Selecting a laser is often a trade-off between the time we have to perform the marking, the information that we want to embed into the product and the budget available for a laser marking system.
Can I Mark Anything with a Fiber Laser?
Fiber laser machines give you complete freedom to mark whatever you want. If you want to mark logos, graphics, texts, QR codes, data matrix, or any other kind of identification codes, it can be done with ease.
What Level of Output Power is Needed to Mark Metal?
As explained previously, the output power required is related to the material to be marked, the information to be embedded into the product, the contrast desired and the time available to perform the marking. Our application specialists have all the tools to analyze these factors and recommend the output power required. Feel free to contact us to learn more about the output power you need.
Why are laser machines the best option for metal marking?
Laser marking machines have many advantages compared to other marking technologies, namely: high-precision process requires no consumables, creates contrasting code on almost all metals and requires practically no maintenance.