What Is Laser Direct Part Marking?
Laser direct part marking is the act of engraving information directly on a part. It can be done either through a change of phase of the material being marked (solid to liquid or solid to gas) or through a localized chemical reaction activated by the laser beam.
Change of Phase
- Laser ablation
- Laser etching
- Laser engraving
- Laser selective material removal
Localized Chemical Reaction
- Laser annealing
- Laser carbonization
Laser direct part marking is an efficient means of establishing a traceability system. It provides valuable information to your customers for traceability and for process improvement.
Benefits of Laser Marking
Laser marking is among the fastest direct part marking technologies available on the market today. Laser marking is a no-touch technology, meaning that there is limited need for positioning jigs. The laser marker can be used even before the parts have cooled off.
Laserax laser marking systems hardly require any maintenance over their entire useful life. With an MTBF of 100 000 hours, they are, by far, the longest running solutions for your traceability needs.
Laserax’s laser marking systems are all set-and-forget solutions. There is no need for costly consumables, such as metal tags, ink. There is no need for replacement parts. They run on regular electrical outlets.
Materials That Can Be Marked With a Laser
- Stainless steel
Laser Marking Processes
- Laser Etching arises from the melting of the material surface. The melted material expands and creates a slight bump on the surface.
- Laser Annealing occurs when an oxide layer is created through localized heating on ferrous metals and titanium. It is a chemical modification which causes a color change of the material surface.
- Laser Carbonization can be used to mark organic materials and light plastics, the incident laser beam leads to the rupture of the chemical bonds and the carbon of these bonds is released. In the case of carbonization, the marked material always has a darker color.
- Laser Engraving is a laser process realized with high localized temperature conditions which essentially causes the vaporization of the target material. The formation of reliefs in the surface allows us to distinguish marks to the eye or touch.
- Selective material removal can be carried out with a laser marking system. It consists of the removal of the top layer or coating of the marking material without damaging the bottom part. This process can generally create marks with very high contrast.
Read more about the difference between laser etching, engraving, and annealing on our blog.