Marking with a Pulsed Fiber Laser

Our redENERGY G4 Pulsed Fiber Lasers are ideal for marking applications. Marks made by Pulsed Lasers are clear, indelible and reliable, and the range of materials that Lasers can mark is almost endless.

This application insight gives an overview of our Pulsed Fiber Lasers, focusing on the understanding of the Pulsed Lasers’ key parameters, beam quality, and marking quality. It also explores the difference between Pulsed and CW Lasers, looking at the different series available in the redENERGY Pulsed Laser range, the key features of them, and specific application areas that are best for each one.

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Marking with a Pulsed Fiber Laser

Introduction

Lasers have been used for several years to make marks on a variety of materials from metal and glass to ceramics and polymers.  Lasers are taking an increasing share of the market away from other methods such as machining, printing and chemical etching.  This change has in part been driven by environmental concerns and stricter government regulation but there are also other reasons for this change. Marks made by Lasers are clear, indelible and reliable. Also, the range of materials that Lasers can mark is much greater. This, combined with the facts that there is no need for consumables and it is a non-contact process, makes Lasers the logical choice for marking.

There are several different types of Lasers and the most common for marking have, in the past been CO2(gas lasers), Nd:YAG and Nd:YVO4 solid-state Lasers. However these Lasers are now being superseded by Fiber Lasers, a relatively new technology, having only been commercially introduced around five years ago.  These Lasers, like our redENERGY G4 Pulsed Lasers, offer greater efficiency, lower total cost of ownership, less maintenance than their older counterparts, and are more compact.

Figure 2: difference between CW and Pulsed Lasers

Figure 2: difference between CW and Pulsed Lasers

Understanding Pulsed Lasers

Pulsed Lasers operate by sending out short high intensity pulses rather than one continuous beam (Figure 2).  There are several key parameters that affect the mark made by Pulsed Fiber Lasers:

Pulse Peak power is the maximum peak power of the Laser pulse. In making a mark there are certain peak power thresholds that need to be exceeded.

Pulse energy governs the amount of thermal energy available to effect any material processing.

Pulse duration affects the time that the laser has to move across the material being marked.

Power density reflects the intensity of the laser energy on the substrate.

Pulse frequency is the number of pulses per second.

Broken down into its simplest form marking is made up of a series of overlapping spots or dots created by the Laser pulses. This can have an effect on the quality of a mark (Figure 3). Increasing the spot overlap means that better definition is achieved. One way to do this is to slow down the marking until the pulses overlap. This means, however, that processing times are increased. Another way would be to increase the pulse repetition rate, while maintaining the desired marking speed.

All these parameters need to be considered and finely tuned in order to obtain the best quality of mark.

Figure 3: Spot Overlap: Marking quality up-close (one of several quality measures)

Figure 3: Spot Overlap: Marking quality up-close (one of several quality measures)

Why choose redENERGY Lasers?

Our redENERGY G4 Pulsed Fiber Laser offers unrivalled peak power, high frequency repetition, and unprecedented control, with the ability also to fine-tune pulse characteristics and achieve the best results, such as reduced processing times, clearer marks, and better mark depths.

We offer a comprehensive range of Pulsed Fiber Lasers with application optimised beam quality.

The SM series offers exceptional beam quality M2 < 1.3 generating small intense spots with high depth of field for applications requiring very fine features, and is a versatile micro-machining Laser source.

The SM Lasers are suited to any applications where fine features are required.

The HM series with its higher engineered mode of M2 ~3.2 offers users the ability to make larger features with higher productivity. With higher average and peak powers these Lasers are ideally suited for large area marking patterning and metal cutting (40W).

The G4 Pulsed Lasers offer a variety of different models to suit your needs and budget (Figure 5). These can be used for a wide range of applications (Figure 6).

Our redENERGY HS/RM series Lasers have an M2 <2 and are ideally suited for general marking applications. These Lasers offer extreme application flexibility.

The SM series offers exceptional beam quality M2 < 1.3 generating small intense spots with high depth of field for applications, requiring very fine features, and is a versatile micro-machining Laser source.

The SM Lasers are suited to any applications where fine features are required.

The HM series with its higher engineered mode of M2 ~3.2 offers users the ability to make larger features with higher productivity. Higher average and peak powers make these Lasers suitable for large area marking patterning and metal cutting (40W).

The G4 Pulsed Lasers offer a variety of different models to suit your needs and budget (Figure 5). These can be used for a wide range of applications (Figure 6).

Figure 4. Shows the different beam qualities of our redENERGY Pulsed ns Fiber Lasers

Figure 4. Shows the different beam qualities of our redENERGY Pulsed ns Fiber Lasers

Figure 5: Key Features of Pulsed Range

Figure 5: Key Features of Pulsed Range

Figure 6: Pulsed Laser Application Matrix

Figure 6: Pulsed Laser Application Matrix

* Processing at considerably reduced rates to 20W
** Short focal optic required

The 10W & 20W/RM are entry level products effective for a number of applications.

The 12W & 20W/HS provide a full range of features that make the Lasers suitable for a wider range of applications.

The 30W & 40W HM have a higher mode with a broader energy distribution and also greater peak power for higher area coverage applications.

Our redENERGY G4 range of Fiber Lasers offer great versatility and unparalleled quality, which can provide the perfect Industrial Laser for your desired application(s).

Related Product – redENERGY

redENERGY G4

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