Laser marking on metal

Metals are inorganic materials with high thermal and electrical conductivity. Metals can be rolled to form plates or sheets, or they can be cast or machined to form more complex shapes. Metals can be pure elements such as iron or chrome. Metals can also be alloys, or mixtures of two or more elements. For example, stainless steel contains both iron and chrome. Laser marking is a common application for metals. Laser cutting and engraving are also possible with sufficient laser power.

For almost any metals, fiber laser machines provide readable marks quickly and efficiently. They’re ideal for engraving all types of metal surfaces. Examples include aluminum, anodized aluminum, steel, stainless steel, magnesium, lead, and zinc.

Fiber laser machines are low maintenance, use no consumables, and create high-contrast marks. You can use them to permanently mark data matrix codes, QR codes, serial numbers, barcodes, logos, and more.

Laser engraving metals with barcodes, serial numbers, and logos are very popular marking applications on both CO2 and fiber laser systems.

Thanks to their long operational life, lack of required maintenance and relatively low cost, fiber lasers are an ideal choice for industrial marking applications. These types of lasers produce a high-contrast, permanent mark that does not affect part integrity. 
When marking bare metal in a CO2 laser, a special spray (or paste) is used to treat the metal prior to engraving. The heat from the CO2 laser bonds the marking agent to the bare metal, resulting in a permanent mark. Fast and affordable, CO2 lasers can also mark other types of materials - such as woods, acrylics, natural stone, and more.The laser has been serving well for many years, particularly when it comes to laser engraving and laser marking metals. Not only soft metals, such as aluminum but steel or very hard alloys can also be marked accurately, legibly and quickly using a laser. With certain metals, such as steel alloys, it is even possible to implement corrosion-resistant markings without damaging the surface structure using annealing marking. Products made of metal are marked with lasers in a wide range of industries: The applications range from the marking of industrially produced series products for traceability to the personalization of promotional items with logos or names.


Laserbeschriftung Metall is useful for working with metals and is mostly used in the manufacturing and construction industry.

Main Processing Types

Cutting

Laser light irradiates a fixed point, usually with repetition to melt the material. The laser can easily melt through thin metals, fabrics, and leather. Because there is no contact, it does not cause a reaction with the item processed. Deformation and cracking is kept to a minimum. In addition, because it is possible to specify processing areas in extreme detail, it is possible to create localized holes or cuts in places where traditional cutting tools cannot fit.

Soldering

Laser irradiation is used to heat solder paste that then joins metals. This irradiation is highly localized allowing for extremely precise soldering compared to traditional methods. This precision also reduces the head effected zone on the parts.

Solder Barrier

Electronics continue to get smaller and thinner. As a result, connector terminals need solder barriers (nickel barriers) to stop the soldering from expanding. Conventionally, masking was used on locations where electroplating was not necessary. However, removing the mask material took time and effort. Surface layer removal using laser light is effective in these cases.

Welding

Laser welding irradiates two targets at the focal point and joins them together by melting and the soldifying the metal. It is possible to irradiate a pinpoint with high density energy and complete the process at high speeds. Material distortion due to heat is kept to a minimum. In the past, deformation occurred easily, but now even thin materials can be welded.




Suitable metals for laser marking and engraving:

  • Stainless Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Anodized aluminum
  • Hardened metals
  • Alloyed steels
  • High-speed steels
  • Titanium, titanium alloys
  • Carbides
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Precious metals (e.g. silver, gold)
  • Coated metals

Manually Loaded Laser Marking Machines 

  • Flex laser marking workstation

    Flex Workstation

    The Flex is our simplest turnkey machine since it includes the least amount of automation, but it can be automated with minimal upgrade any time. It is ideal when a fast marking time isn’t a priority, or when part loading represents a minor portion of the total marking time.

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  • Rotary-Table Workstation

    Rotary-Table Workstation

    Designed to minimize the impact of part loading on your cycle time, this machine uses a rotary table to allow multiple operations at the same time. The operator can load and unload parts, trigger table rotations, and start laser marking. 


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Fully Automated Laser Marking Machines 

  • Rotary-Table Machine

    Rotary-Table Machine

    With challenging requirements, the key to prevent bottlenecks is to mark in hidden time. This machine achieves this using a rotary table. While a robot arm loads a part, another part is engraved at the same time.

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  • Open-Air Machine

    Open-Air Machine

    Robots used for multiple operations can be leveraged by opting for an open-air design, where the robot moves parts between stations and hold them during marking. This design easily supports multiple parts and cavities.

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  • Door Machine

    Door Machine 

    With a flexible door machine design, markings can be positioned anywhere, and robot arms can load parts from any direction. These machines are perfect when the robot needs to perform other  tasks during the marking operation.

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  • Automative conveyor laser marking machine

    Conveyor Machine  

    Conveyor machines can account for all types of positioning variations that occur on conveyors. They can mark parts on the fly or while the conveyor is stopped for other processes like quality control, bundling, or weighting.

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