Laser marking is a manufacturing process that uses a focused beam of light to permanently alter the surface of the workpiece. Unlike laser engraving, it changes the surface without removing material. It produces long-lasting high-contrast marks that can be easily read or scanned.
Types of Laser Marking Methods
There are many laser marking methods available. The four most commonly used are:
- Carbon migration
Advantages of Laser Marking
Compared to other marking methods, laser marking offers a number of advantages, such as:
- Higher marking accuracy/precision. The use of lasers enables manufacturers to target highly specific areas on the workpiece.
- Smaller environmental impact. The laser marking process produces much less waste since it does not require the removal of material from the workpiece to create the desired marks.
- Better compliance with industry regulations. The permanence and readability of laser-made markings make the laser marking process ideal for adding important information to manufactured components (e.g., barcodes, serial numbers, and trademark icons).
Applications of Laser Marking
The laser marking process is commonly used for:
- Date codes
- QR codes
- Serial numbers
- Part numbers
- Copyright/trademark icons
Typical industries that use it to add the above elements to their parts and products include:
Overview of Laser Engraving
Laser engraving is a manufacturing process that uses a focused beam of light to remove material from the workpiece to form the desired design (e.g., text or image). The resulting marks are durable and resistant to falsification.
Types of Laser Engraving Methods
The three main laser engraving methods are laser etching, laser engraving, and laser ablation. The key difference between etching and engraving and ablation is:
- Laser etching produces shallow marks
- Laser engraving produces deep marks that can withstand exposure to harsh operational or environmental conditions
- Laser ablation produces marks by removing surface coatings (e.g., painted or anodized layers) to expose underlying layers
Advantages of Laser Engraving
Laser engraving offers a variety of advantages over other marking processes, such as:
- Broader range of depths. Laser engraved marks can be made to varying depths, from shallow to deep.
- Better durability. The laser engraving process can produce marks that remain highly visible even after being exposed to harsh conditions.
- Greater marking speed. Laser engraving is the fastest way to produce laser-made markings.
Applications of Laser Engraving
The laser engraving process is used to mark parts and products for a variety of industries, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Fine art
Learn More About Laser Marking and Engraving From Accubeam
Want additional information on the laser marking and laser engraving processes? Ask the experts at Accubeam! As a premier provider of laser marking, engraving, and cutting services, we can answer and address any questions you may have about these processes. To learn more about our laser capabilities, contact us today. To work with us on your next project, request a quote.
Laser Etching and Deep Laser Engraving