Laser Engraving in the Aerospace Industry
The aerospace industry is one of the largest and most crucial industries in the world. It encompasses many different areas, with consumer and business travel being the most important, but it also involves transport, military aircraft and even space exploration.
Regardless of what reason the aircraft is being used for, they have to withstand great pressure and stress at high altitudes, and there can be absolutely no room for error in the manufacturing process.
For this reason, lasers, and fiber lasers specifically, have quickly grown to find themselves one of the most important parts of the manufacturing process. They are used in multiple ways throughout this process, and one such way is for laser engraving. We have covered this in more detail below.
More information about the aerospace industry
You’ll be most familiar with this industry through commercial travel. Whether this is tourists looking to have a breakaway or businesses conducting meetings abroad, this industry has helped to connect the world like never before.
But the industry also involves everything that comes before the travel itself too, such as the research, design and maintenance of all the aircraft. And, with dozens of airlines both large and small conducting hundreds of thousands of flights a day, the industry continues to grow. In fact, in 2016, the top 100 businesses involved in the aerospace and aerospace defence sectors totalled revenues of $709 billion.
And, alongside this, the industry continues to grow in other ways too. Perhaps the most notable signs of this growth is the attention that has been turned towards expanding commercial flights to space. Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic are the most notable of these.
More than eight million people fly each day, with over three billion people flying each year. This is a huge figure and shows how important the industry is. And, with the industry growing and with one eye turning towards space too, it’s clear that the needs and demand of the sector will continue to grow alongside this.
Safety and high-quality has always been at the forefront of everyone’s minds involved in this industry, and that will never change. But with increased demand, processes must be used that can work quicker and more efficiently while compromising nothing in terms of this quality and safety.
Where will you find laser engraving being used?
For this reason, it’s unsurprising that lasers have become such an important part of the industry. This has been even more the case since the introduction of fiber lasers to the market.
Aircraft are made up of thousands of precision parts and pieces, and these will all need identification tags, bar codes, serial numbers or something similar. Laser marking is often used to provide these markings at surface level, but sometimes they need to be deeper than this, and in this instance, laser engraving is used.
These engravings will often need to be processed and read by a machine, so it’s important that they are clear and highly visible. Alongside this, when engraving, a section of the material will need to be removed. It’s crucial that none of the rest of the material is damaged during this process.
Other more traditional methods can often cause abrasive damage, but one of the big benefits of engraving with lasers is the material won’t suffer such wear and tear.
Alongside this, aircraft are usually made up of many different materials, mainly in the form of metals such as aluminium and titanium. When engraving with lasers the setup is ideal at easily adapting between these metals. You will also find other materials being used, like glass and plastic, and these will likely need to be engraved too.
Find out more about this process
As you can see, laser engraving is a crucial part of the aerospace industry. With the benefits that it offers, it’s not surprising that it’s also a crucial part of other industries too such as the automotive, semiconductor, electronic or medical sectors.
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