How Can Fiber Lasers be used to Colour Mark Jewellery?

Many industries benefit from the use of fiber lasers. One such industry is the jewellery industry. The fiber laser marking process is especially valuable in jewellery manufacture, where even colour marking can be applied to some metals. This is the topic of our latest Q&A article.

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Figure 2: Colour swatches, on stainless steel, made at 125 kHz showing the effect of scan speed and average power – marked with an SPI fiber laser.

What is laser colour marking of jewellery?

As the name suggests “laser colour marking” is the use of a laser to add a mark, to brass, titanium or stainless steel which thermally alters the surface to give the appearance of a variety of colours to an object. This has particular relevance in the jewellery industry for the marking of jewellery items with colour for increased aesthetic appeal.

The laser marking process

The fiber laser beam is directed at the piece of jewellery in the area where the mark is required. The thermal heat from the laser beam alters the surface structure of the material, forming a permanent coloured mark to the exact shape required, as per the fiber laser programmed instructions.

By applying variations in the pulse width, the laser operator can control the amount of heat, which is being applied to the surface of the jewellery piece. By applying small changes to the pulse width and pulse frequency the oxide layer thickness can be varied. This creates discreet changes in the colour of the mark to the eye of the viewer.

For colour marking this is usually shallow as it’s the colour that’s important rather than depth. If deeper marking is required, this becomes an engraving, which can also be applied with colour.

Which materials can be colour marked?

A wide variety of materials can be colour marked. These include:

  • Metals – brass, steels, titanium
  • Ceramics and plastics – although less applicable to the jewellery industry, colour marking can also be applied to ceramics and plastics too

Related articles

Other SPI Lasers content about colour marking includes:

Contact SPI Lasers for marking and jewellery industry solutions

The jewellery industry is certainly one which fiber lasers can make a great contribution to, especially in the field of fiber laser colour marking. Why not contact us today and we can advise, which of our Pulsed fiber laser models would work best for your colour marking requirements.

In addition, there are many other applications, which will benefit jewellers, including 3D printing, ablation, cleaning, drilling and welding! Contact us for details.

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