Laser marking and engraving of metals refers to the use of laser marking machines to mark products. Depending on the material and quality requirements, there are differences between different processes, such as annealing or ablation (engraving).
Engraving metal with lasers is primarily used for custom and finishing products such as promotional items, signs, mugs, fronts, pens and industrial labels. When the laser beam hits the metal, the metal is heated enough to evaporate its surface, creating a permanent and wear-resistant engraving. The engraving can be seen and felt as a groove. This often creates contrast, but it should be noted that rust-resistant steel sometimes loses its anti-corrosion properties around the engraving due to unmixed alloy components.
Black marker metal
In black marking, localized heating of the metal surface can lead to the formation of an oxide layer. It has particularly high contrast and abrasion resistance. The process is suitable for marking smartphones and laptops, as well as unique device identification for medical products and blackening of anodized aluminum.
Annealed marking allows for imperceptible marking while the material surface remains intact. During this process, the heat of the laser marker triggers oxidation and diffusion processes on the surface, which create contrast on the surface. Depending on the effect of temperature, different colors (annealing colors) can be produced for iron and iron-containing alloys. Any metal that has been discolored by heat and oxygen can be annealed and marked. It is especially suitable for medical products.
Color laser marking of metal is achieved by selective removal of the topcoat, allowing a different color primer to appear. This process is often used on anodized aluminum and painted metals.