Types of marking

The legibility of marks made by lasers is achieved through a color contrast between the mark and the base material.
This contrast is a function of one of several processes such as annealing, engraving, surface etching,
thermo-chemical reaction, and ablation.

Annealing

A color change can be achieved in most bright steels by annealing.
Through precise control over the heat input the laser produces a highly legible, dark mark on the surface but no material is removed.Excellent for applications such as medical implants, surgical instruments, bearings, tools or other applications where a smooth, undamaged surface and contrast is important.

Ablating

Marks on annodized, plated or painted products are made by the laser removing the top layer to expose a base material (without damaging it) with a contrasting color.
It is typically done with anodized aluminum, backlit buttons, and painted steel in applications such as backlit buttons, namplates, and tags.

Etching

Surface etching is one of the most common forms of laser marking.
The laser changes the surface finish of a metal thus altering its reflectivity and enhancing contrast.

Thermo-chemical reaction

Most plastics react when exposed to laser radiation. The resulting mark depends on the type of reaction which is a function of the composition and color of the base material. Additives can be used with most plastics to achieve different colors.

Engraving

Vaporizing material produces deep marking which is visible through the shadows and reflections of ambient light from the different angles carved into the surface.

Lasit USA Robin Barbero — Phone: 508 528-2542 — 508 989 5090 — robin.barbero@lasitusa.com
Lasit International +39 081 8015940 ext. 14

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