Fiber Laser Applications: #2 Laser Marking
Fiber Lasers are able to offer solutions for many different industrial manufacturing challenges, ranging from marking and cutting to 3D printing, welding and many more besides. In this selection of articles we focus on a specific application each month, providing useful insight into a variety of aspects related to the application e.g. how it works, how it can be used. This month we focus on the application of Marking with a Fiber Laser.
Laser Marking is a processing application that is achieved by focusing light onto the surface of a material, so that the heat of the light beam leaves a contrasting permanent mark. Something that makes this process particularly special is its ability to not just mark in black and white but also in colour.
In this article, we give an insight into the background of fiber laser marking, how it works, what it is used for as well as signposting areas of the site where you can gain even more knowledge regarding this popular application process and why so many industries around the world are becoming increasingly reliant on this innovative industrial manufacturing tool.
Fiber laser marking an introduction
Laser marking is used for high volume production challenges within the manufacturing industry where time, cost and productivity challenges are an everyday occurrence. In comparison with traditional marking methods laser processing is less time-consuming, less expensive, and more efficient.
It is used commonly by the medical, automotive and aerospace industry for clearly marking parts with visible codes. Use of black and white marks are prevalent in these industries, something that Fiber Lasers are particularly adept at producing.
Such marks are achieved via a non-contact process; a core laser benefit. This means there are no parts to wear out and no down time required to replace those parts, resulting in increased productivity and lower manufacturing costs.
Companies that benefit from the adoption of fiber lasers will also find they have access to an amazing level of precision, often far greater than traditional ‘contact’ methods allowed. In turn this allows users to achieve some truly outstanding results.
It is also possible to move beyond a simple surface mark, by using the laser to engrave a deeper more defined mark, opening up the possibility for even more manufacturing solutions.
Fiber lasers allow all these marks to be delivered on difficult angles and shapes as well as flat surfaces, leaving a high quality mark every time regardless of surface material.
How laser marking works
We have discussed how Fiber Laser’s are used, but lets have a closer look at how they actually work.
Laser marking is a high speed and high precision process that works quickly, efficiently and safely, leaving a high-quality mark on whichever material that it is working with.
To laser mark, one directs a focused laser beam onto the surface of the material that they are working with, and the heat of the beam will generate a contrast between the affected area and the surrounding material.
Essentially, the beam oxidises the area underneath the surface of the area that it is targeting, causing it to change colour. The majority of markings will turn black, but some surfaces will cause a colour change instead.
A key benefit of the process is that the material itself, isn’t damaged in any way or made uneven. No layers are removed, they are simply adapted through localised heating.
What are the advantages?
The greatest worry for many manufacturers when undertaking volume marking, is the potential to damage the material being worked on. A key advantage of Fiber Lasers is that they utilise a non-contact process which significantly reduces the margin for error in high volume manufacturing; there is no requirement for expensive or potentially harmful substances to be used and there are no parts to wear out and damage the contact material in the process.
This is just one example of why fiber lasers are becoming increasingly popular the world over for undertaking a variety of marking applications; to discover more on how fiber lasers can benefit your business read our article ‘The Advantages of Laser Marking’.
See laser marking in action!
Our redENERGY G4 Fiber Lasers have produced some stunning marking results in our application laboratories visit our YouTube channel to see all of our latest videos on marking applications including, ceramic engraving, deep engraving and black & white marking on stainless steel.
Find out more
To see more details regarding the flexibility and productivity of our Fiber Lasers for marking applications, including specific laser parameters, check out our Applications Postcards on our website including;
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