Engraving is the most common kind of laser marking. This is where the laser beam is used to remove material to create a mark. The laser acts like a chisel in this case and blows away pieces of the subject material. There are two types of laser engraving. Light engraving is where a relatively shallow trench is created, between 5µm and 25µm. The depth achievable depends on the material, and also the power and the dwell time of the laser.
Deep engraving is used for making moulds and dies, stamps, etc. The depth that can be achieved is entirely dependent on how the material absorbs the laser, how much energy the laser has, and how long the laser can dwell on the target. Deep engraving is usually a fairly slow process.
Both types of engraving can be carried out on surfaces such as different metals and some plastics. Engraving can be used to make marks, for example identification numbers, and logos and can also engrave complex images from graphics packages.
Advantages of Laser Engraving
Lasers have many advantages over older technologies such as machining. The main advantage is that there is no contact between machine parts which means there is no tool wear. Lasers also offer greater precision and can engrave more complex patterns and images.
Fiber lasers are a relatively new technology that have been introduced in the last five years, and have shown very promising results in the field of laser engraving. Compared to other types of lasers, they can offer better quality in marking and deep-engraving thanks to short pulse duration minimizing thermal effects and faster speed processing with high peak power pulses.
Laser Engraving in Tool Steel and Stainless Steel Using a G3 Pulsed Laser
Deep engraving in steel can be done using SPI’s G3 Pulsed Laser (Figure 2). In this case three passes are made. The first two passes perform the engraving
High precision deep engraving can be achieved by careful selection of pulsed wave forms and other process variables (Figure 3). The unrivaled flexibility of SPI’s G3 Pulsed Laser enables optimisation of the pulse characteristics such as peak power, pulse length, pulse energy and pulse frequency to give the best engraving.
For further information & to register for your FREE 30-day SPI Fiber laser evaluation unit, go to www.spilasers.com
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