Laser Engraving Metals
What types of metal can be laser marked or engraved?
Stainless steel, carbon steel, hardened metals, painted metals, anodized aluminum, raw aluminum, platinum, gold, silver, iron, titanium, titanium alloys, brass, copper, among others.
What’s the difference between laser marking, etching, and engraving of metals?
Most of the times, these terms are all used inter-changeably, but for the sake of clarity and understanding here is the difference. Laser marking: Laser interacts with surface producing a discolored, and contrasting mark. Laser engraving: Laser physically removes or vaporizes surface material leaving an exposed, visible cavity. Laser etching: Laser causes surface to melt which produces a raised contrasting mark.
What laser technology processes metal with high efficiency and precision?
Fiber laser and CO2 laser are mostly used for processing of ferrous or non-ferrous metals. Which one works better on your sample depends on the nature and thickness of metal. On a side note the Nd:YAG laser is being replaced by fiber laser due to its reliability and efficiency.
Fiber laser processes metals with better precision, speed, reliability, and efficiency compared to CO2 laser. If you want to cut thin sheet metal, fiber laser is more advantageous than CO2 laser, because fiber laser uses shorter wavelength laser that has smaller spot size and is better absorbed by metal.
What are the benefits and advantages of fiber laser compared to CO2 laser?
Fiber laser can handle most metals efficiently, whereas CO2 laser can only cut stainless steel. The power source of fiber laser has longer life time of up to 100,000 hours. Fiber laser has no moving parts or adjustable mirrors, and does not need beam alignment. Fiber laser offers greater higher electrical efficiency (50% or higher). Fiber laser works 2-3 times faster when cutting thin (1-3 mm) sheet metal.
Then, why buy CO2 laser for metal processing?
CO2 is an attractive technology for cutting steel. It is more efficient at cutting thicker steel (over 4 mm) compared to fiber laser. CO2 laser can also work on coated, painted or anodized metals. It can also process organic materials like wood, acrylic, leather, fabric, glass and stone. However, if you only want mark or engrave metals, a fiber laser marker or fiber laser would be your best choice. If you need laser to cut metals at production scale (without the need on organic materials), fiber laser will be your best choice.
Please let us know if you want more information or want to have laser processed sample.