Whether it’s for industrial labelling with a laser marker or for customising and designing artistic advertising materials or gifts – there are various areas of application for marking and engraving metal with a laser. All metals and alloys can be marked and engraved using the laser engravers from JustLaser. Steels, non-ferrous metals, light metals and alloys such as bronze or brass can be marked easily and permanently – usually with large parameter windows. Our cost-effective laser technology wins people over with its low investment risk and high productivity, and always produces outstanding results.
Laser marking and engraving of metal refers to the marking of products using a laser marker. Depending on the material and quality requirements, there are distinctions between different processes, such as annealing or ablation (engraving). JustLaser offers you a large range of different laser machines for marking various metals.
Engraving metal with a laser is mostly used for customising and finishing products such as promotional items, signs, cups, front plates, pens and for industrial labelling. When the laser beam hits the metal, it is heated so much that its surface is vaporised, resulting in the emergence of a permanent and abrasion-resistant engraving. The engraving can be seen and felt as a recess. This usually results in a contrast, although it should be noted that rust-inhibiting steel sometimes loses its corrosion-inhibiting properties around the engraving as the alloy components are unmixed.
In black marking, the localised heating up of the metal surface results in the formation of an oxide layer. It is particularly high-contrast and abrasion-resistant. The process is suitable for marking smartphones and laptops, as well as for unique device identifications for medical products and for blackening anodised aluminium.
Annealing marking allows for imperceptible marking in which the material surface remains intact. In this process, the heat of the laser marker triggers an oxidation process and a diffusion process on the surface, resulting in a contrast on the surface. Depending on the effect of the temperature, different colours (annealing colours) can be produced for iron and alloys with iron. Annealing marking can be carried out for any metal that changes colour under the influence of heat and oxygen. It is particularly suitable for medical products.
The coloured laser marking of metal is achieved through the selective removal of topcoats, allowing the differently-coloured base coat to appear. This process is frequently used for anodised aluminium and lacquered metals.
Using a laser to mark and engrave metal involves a range of benefits as it is a precise and clean way of marking metal. Labelling and finishing of all kinds can be applied to a metal in a high-contrast and easily legible way. The process is contactless, and results in forgery-proof and permanent markings.
Thanks to modern JustLaser laser machines, even complex and tiny designs with fine, thin lines such as data matrix codes / barcode, logos and UDIs can be marked accurately, legibly and with maximum precision with a laser. This allows for a larger degree of design freedom when creating designs, as almost anything can be produced with a JustLaser Laser Engraver or Laser Marker.
Marking and engraving metal with a laser is one of the quickest marking processes on the market and is significantly faster than mechanical processes. The high throughput speed allows for more cost-effective production.
Due to the contactless marking or engraving of the metal by a laser marker, the material does not need to be fixed in place or treated with tools. This means that there are no costs for consumable materials or tool wear. The surfaces of the materials to be marked should be clean, although a thin film of oil is not usually problematic.
Annealing marking is high-contrast, permanent, abrasion-resistant, heat-resistant, solvent-resistant, acid-resistant and forgery-proof.
Annealing marking offers clear benefits, especially in medical technology, as it is possible to mark specific materials with a laser without damaging the metal. As the roughness of the surface is not increased by annealing, germs cannot attach themselves to the area around the mark (in stark contrast to an engraving).
Mercury is the only metal which is liquid under standard conditions (20 °C, 1 bar of pressure). An inscription here would be of little help, and the necessity for it should also be limited. All other metals and alloys absorb the laser wavelengths sufficiently to at least force interaction with the laser.
Marking and engraving metal with a laser has a number of applications, particularly in the field of electronics, in tool construction and in mechanical engineering, in the automotive industry and in medical technology, for example:
Colour marking stainless steel is a special form of annealing marking and opens up new opportunities for manufacturers, such as the production of coloured logos. Depending on the material, different colours can be achieved at different temperatures. Thanks to how easily colours can be reproduced, coloured markings are now possible for serial production, although it should be noted that coloured markings can only be produced relatively slowly, and the delivered quality of the steel must remain consistent.
Rely on the precise laser markers and laser engravers from JustLaser not only for marking and engraving metal with a laser in the industrial sector! Our laser technology is also for creatively designing advertising materials and gifts. Laser marking is often used by sign makers, engravers and in the advertising industry for the following products:
Once you have created the design you want in your graphics software, send your design to the laser marker. Select the desired laser parameters in the printer driver, insert the material to be engraved and start the laser engraving job at the push of a button. If required, other settings can be adjusted for optimisation in the laser program. Whether individual parts or ranges of products – JustLaser Laser Engravers and Laser Markers always achieve the best results in reliable metal marking.
While laser markers are suitable for marking blank and coated metals with a fibre laser, CO2 laser engravers can only be used for processing coated or specially pre-treated materials. Anodised aluminium can be quickly marked by both CO2 lasers and fibre lasers. As blank surfaces reflect the beam of a CO2 laser too strongly, a laser marker agent is needed here. It is to be applied to the surface before processing, and the engraving process can take place as usual after it has dried. The metal marking agent is burned into the surface in the process. This process makes sense if metals are to only rarely be marked with a CO2 laser engraver and the added value is high.