Industrial Laser Services
For materials that cannot be damaged, but needs a permanent and lasting mark, laser anneal marking is the best option. This process is created through precise control of time and temperature that the material is subjected to.
Laser anneal marking is the process of introducing high heat into the base substrate—typically, high-quality alloys such as but not limited to, tool steel, stainless steel, or titanium. The process does not remove material or damage the substrate, but creates an oxidation process which leaves a colored mark behind. This process most frequently creates a dark black mark, but with exotic alloys such as titanium, shades of red, yellow, green, and blue can be achieved. This is most commonly used in applications where disruption to the base cannot be tolerated, but a permanent mark is required. Industries such as medical instruments, implantable devices, and many more use this process.
For plastic materials, laser foam marking is an option that will use laser beam absorption to create part identification or product branding.
Color-change foam is used on nearly all composite plastics. The laser is used to introduce a high peak pulse energy into the surface of the composite. This interacts with the substrate make up, causing the material to melt and “foam.” This melt gives a slightly raised mark that has a desirable shade change in the localized surface that the laser interacts with. The resulting laser mark is high resolution and high contrast, ideal for part identification or product branding.
Plastics Marking through Carbonizing
Unlike laser mark foaming, carbonizing is the best option for plastics if the material cannot be damaged in any way.
Compared to color-change foaming, carbonizing does not damage or disturb the surface of the base substrate. The laser is used to interact with the material on a subsurface level. During this process, the laser will break the bonds in the material, causing an internal reaction and a change in color. This process is typically used within transparent, light-colored plastics as well as certain organic materials.
During this process, laser energy is focused and absorbed by the surface, which results in vaporization of the coating with minimal effect to the material.
Laser marking with coating removal is utilized throughout most all base materials—metals, alloys, plastics, and organic materials that have a coating can use laser for selective removal. Virtually any coating can be processed, this includes anodize, oxide, paint, powder coat, ink printing, hydro graphic processes, and more. With the proper laser and process control, these coatings are typically removed without any damage to the base substrate. The coating removal rarely requires secondary or post-processing on the finished product.