Laser marking, a proven printing technique for the addition of décors, logos, drawings, data-matrix, bar codes, serial numbers and text, is unavoidable for industrial marking and traceability.
Laser Marking can be done in different ways : engraving, selective ablation (or removal), annealing, discolouration and foaming are possible marking processe. We choose these techniques preferentially in function of the materials and the desired marking application.
Advantages of laser marking:
- No consumables like inks, labels, solvents, acids, … are needed
- Permanent and high-definition printing
- Versatile technique especially relevant for marking on industrial goods as well as on luxury or consumer products
- Speed of execution of the marking (up to more than 1000 characters per second)
- Reduced maintenance (Lifetime > 100,000h for fiber laser sources)
- Laser marking possible on areas you cannot access with conventional techniques
- Marking technique permit an easy integration on production line
Laser marking by the annealing technique:
This technique allow us to work without ablation of material. Due to the interaction of the laser beam, the material is locally heated to a temperature close to its melting point.
The marking of the piece is due to a thermal effect and lead to a change of the colour.
Several colours are possible depending of exposure time, power, repetition rate of the laser and composition of the material.
Laser marking by annealing concerns only metals, in particular titanium and ferrous metals (steel, stainless steel, etc.).
Laser marking by the engraving technique:
This technique of engraving allows the realization of deep impressions. The focalisation of the laser beam to a high power density causes the melting and then the vaporization of the material treated resulting in making a “hole” or engraving on the surface. Depending on the nature of the material treated, it is also possible to generate colouration or reflection that improve the visibility of the ablation.
Laser engraving applies to all materials like metals, ceramics, wood, glass, and also plastics. This depend also of the wave length of the laser used.
Laser marking by the discolouration or fading technique on plastic
In the case of marking by discolouration, the motive is created by a thermal effect. The plastic is rapidly heated, and the colour change, depending on the movement path of the laser beam. The print can be dark or light but this depend almost of the plastic composition.
During the manufacturing of this differents plastics, specific pigments are added to influence the colouring permitted by the laser process.
This processing method is adapted only for plastics, and the colour of the marking depends mainly of their composition.