Do you know what laser marking is, how it is done or what it is for?

Laser marking is one of the most widespread and used laser technology applications today. The amount of objects that we usually use that have been able to be marked by laser is enormous, although we do not realize it, the laser marking is presented in expiration date of some food or letters of the computer keyboards.

The foundation of laser marking despite being complex, can be summarized as the contribution of a large amount of concentrated energy and directed to a single small point of an object, which can oxidize and change color, or burn or vaporize .

Types of materials that can be marked

In this way, with laser systems, we can, for example, mark wood causing a superficial and controlled burn in the areas that we want to blacken; mark steel causing a localized chemical change to its surface and creating different oxides that can be of very different colors; or even vaporizing a surface layer of material to precisely remove a layer of paint and reveal the color below creating a great contrast.

The advantage of laser marking: digitization

In addition to the wide variety of forms of marking offered by the laser, this technology has a fundamental advantage over traditional marking systems: digitalization. The laser system can contain multiple designs in its memory and be able to quickly change from marking a logo to another totally different without changing tools or tools. This makes it a very flexible system for production, making it even possible to program the marking of expiration dates or serial numbers that vary from one element to another, thus leaving a unique number marked for each object. At the same time, it reduces waiting times for changing tools and increases production.

Is it possible to achieve colors?

Yes. By changing the parameters is possible to achieve different colors but not all colors are possible with all materials. In ATRIA we make optimization matrices and we can show you what colors are possible with your material. We have different types of lasers to make the best combination.

How to choose the best laser? Parameters to consider

Despite all these advantages that we have commented, the laser, like any technology, presents its points to take into account. One of them is that there is no universal laser with which all materials can be marked. This is because each material absorbs more or less energy at a certain wavelength, and lasers emit at a fixed wavelength. Therefore, we can use a laser that marks the wood very well with 5W, but that nevertheless fails to make any mark on the glass using 50W. This makes knowing the material on which the laser is going to be marked is essential when choosing it , since a bad choice can make the equipment totally useless for our application.

Another point “to take into account” of laser marking, is that unlike techniques such as pad printing in which the cycle time is fixed, in the laser the cycle time depends on the area to be marked. The laser concentrates a lot of energy and moves it along the surface of the piece until it covers the entire area of ​​our design. Because of this, it is often used in small markings such as logos, identifiers, bar codes or expiration dates. Even so, as in the case of the choice of the laser wavelength, the optimization of the rest of the laser parameters for the specific application that we want to develop will cause us to mark the square centimeter at speeds as fast as 0.05 seconds. either the parameters, or as slow as 300 seconds the square centimeter choosing poorly.

If you are interested in applying laser markings in your company, contact us and we will help you to find the best laser for your application, to find the best parameters and to perform all the necessary tests and tests.

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