With the ever-increasing demand for the latest technology, lasers are becoming more common in a variety of uses. Lasers are used in a variety of manufacturing and shaping processes. Laser etching is a faster method than annealing or engraving, and this ability makes it the fastest laser marking process. One of the most common metals used for laser etching is aluminum.
We recommend the Atomstack M4 laser marking machine.
Laser etching is a process that uses a laser beam to create marks on a surface. This is done by releasing large amounts of energy at specific time intervals. This can be used for a variety of purposes, such as engraving or cutting.
During laser etching, the extreme heat of the laser melts the surface of the metal after it contacts it. After melting, the molten material expands, leaving marks on the surface of the material. During this process, the surface of the product or part is melted to create marks on the surface.
Laser etched designs are generated in graphic design software. This graphic design software supports vector files. Designs are created and saved as vector files and then passed to a laser etcher for printing. Laser etchers use CNC routers to read vector files. It also determines the pattern of laser motion to create the desired design.
Laser etching can be used on nearly all metals, including zinc, steel, lead, stainless steel, magnesium, and anodized aluminum. Aluminum etching is widely used for the etching of aluminum.
Aluminum etching is a process of accurately and selectively dissolving metal to produce the desired aluminum part or assembly by using chemical or acidic etchants. It results in the creation of stress-free and burr-free components. This process safely and quickly produces parts with more defined features.
Laser etching works with a pulsed laser beam, which releases high energy. A 100W pulsed laser can deliver 100,000 pulses, each containing an energy equal to 1 millijoule. The laser etching process requires less energy per unit area than engraving metal.
During laser etching, the beam strikes the component surface, which in turn absorbs the beam energy and converts it into heat. In addition, it converts most of the reflected beam energy into heat. The material should absorb energy to melt and expand its microsurfaces.
After the beam energy is converted into heat, the temperature of the material increases. The ductility of the surface of the part increases due to the change in its shape caused by the high temperature. After the material melts, the surface changes differently and cools down in a short period of time. It produces permanent and high-quality marks on the surface of the material due to variations in surface roughness.
Types of Laser Machines Used for Aluminum Etching
Laser machines can cut various materials such as paper, wood, acrylic and MDF. Can be engraved on leather, wood, glass surfaces and various metals. There are some types of laser machines.
Both natural and anodized aluminum can be etched using a laser engraver. Among laser machines, fiber lasers are considered perfect for etching anodized and natural aluminum. Fiber lasers are used because aluminum etching is done with metals, and metals respond better to fiber lasers.
Difference Between Laser Etching and Laser Engraving
Laser etching and engraving processes are widely used in all walks of life to mark stamps, text logos, barcodes, and more. Although their craftsmanship is similar, they also have differences.
The main difference between laser etching and engraving processes is the depth of cut. Laser engraving will go all the way through the aluminum, while laser etching is a shallower cut that only partially cuts through the material.
Laser etching is often used on anodized aluminum because it does not remove the anodized layer. This process can be used for serial numbers, barcodes, or other graphics that need to be visible but not too dark.
Both laser engraving and laser etching can be used to create high-quality permanent marks on a variety of materials. However, laser engraving is generally better for marking hard flat surfaces, while laser etching is suitable for softer materials or curved surfaces.
Laser etching can produce permanent marks, and most of these part marking methods are used on a wide range of materials, making this marking process a smart choice for a variety of industries. Due to its high demand, it is used in a wide variety of industries including aerospace, medical, automotive, military and defense, electronics, and industrial and tooling.
Laser etching is used in manufacturing applications as it is used to create permanent marks and can physically remove material from metal at high speed. It marks text logos, serial numbers, 2D data and barcodes.
Laser etching is considered best than laser engraving because less time is required for the metal to melt in this method, while laser engraving requires more time for the metal to vaporize. Various industries use laser etching for manufacturing purposes considering time, cost, precision, etc.
You can confidently choose laser etching to finish the aluminum part or other material part you want to mark. At Viking you'll find the best technology, we offer professional laser etching, engraving, cutting and other part finishing services. Our machines easily allow us to etch or engrave on a wide variety of materials and surfaces.