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Laser engraving is the process of removing a portion of material to leave an engraved mark which is visible beneath. The engraving process is produced by the Laser beam removing material to create a mark, where the Laser acts like a chisel and blows away selected areas of the subject material. It is a subset process of laser marking where the object is actually marked beneath the surface and is the most common of all the laser marking applications. The depth of the engraving made will depend on the dwell time as well as the type of material being used. It can be used on a variety of materials, including ceramics, plastics and all forms of metal. As well as marking, the laser engraving process can also be compared with ablation and etching, which work in similar ways.
Laser engraving is especially popular in jewellery manufacture (particularly engraving of gold and silver) and can be used to create works of art; there are also many industrial uses (e.g. adding information onto parts and components). Engraving with lasers can be used for traditional marking purposes such as serial numbers and logos but has the advantage of depth which makes it popular for making stamps, dies and moulds. Laser engraving is extensively used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, electronics, medical and also in semi-conductor manufacturing.
Laser engraving is also heavily used for aesthetic personalisation of items such as plaques, tankards, trophies, medals and similar items. In addition, laser engraving is often used for the creation of barcodes and tracking labels, which has some similarities to marking processes.
There are many clear benefits of laser engraving over and above traditional methods, which have been used for centuries. Quality is of paramount importance when engraving, a fiber laser gives the engraver absolute precision over the depth of the engraving, meaning that shallow to deep engravings are possible via one laser machine.
The whole process is contactless, which is safer for the laser operative but also creates no “wear and tear” of surrounding materials. Talking of materials, the process can be applied to a wide variety, with metals (e.g. brass, aluminium, pewter, stainless steel, etc.) being very popular as well as ceramics (e.g. semi-conductors), glass (e.g. medical equipment), plastics and carbon compounds, etc.
Laser engraving is also a very environmentally friendly approach. Engraving with Fiber Lasers produces much less waste (as it is vapourised) and doesn’t require inks as well as tooling such as bit heads.
To read our detailed guide to the benefits of laser engraving, click here.
Engraving is a key feature of our redENERGY Fiber Lasers; capable of light to deep engraving our Lasers can be used to engrave all metals, stone, and industrial ceramics. More complex images created in graphics packages can be programmed to engrave via an SPI laser.
Example of deep engraving – Engraving Aluminium Alloy C4 Precision
Process times will reduce, the clarity of the engraving will improve and there is greater control/precision on the depth of the engraving. Invest today in an SPI Fiber Laser and enjoy all of these engraving benefits which just aren’t possible through traditional engraving techniques and methods. As well as engraving, buying an SPI Laser will also enable a business to complete other laser-based tasks too, such as marking, cutting, drilling and much more!
We have produced some sample laser engraving frequently asked questions with answers click here, to access them. Scroll below for our full list of laser engraving application insights.
‘Applications Insights’ are detailed articles on specific applications.
‘Application Postcards’ are bite sized insights on specific applications, designed to be easily digested in a matter of minutes.
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