Most of the laser marking problems we run across arise from using an improper system for the application at hand. Not all laser marking systems are equally good for every application. Choosing the right laser marking system for each application is critical in avoiding laser marking problems.
One of the first questions that needs to be answered is what material is going to be marked. You need to know the material to be marked because the wavelength of the laser light determines what material can be marked. For instance, 1064 nanometer light is the best for marking metals and some plastics. While 10,600 nanometer light is best for marking wood and organic materials.
There is no one single type of laser that can mark all kinds of materials. Some lasers are more versatile than others, but there simply is no one size fits all laser. This is why it is so vital to know what type of material you will be marking. The material to be marked will be the predominate factor in choosing a laser marking system.
Another consideration is the kind of mark you are going to be making. Will you be using an ablation, engraving, or stain marking technique? Ablation removes a film or layer of material from the part. Engraving uses a laser to vaporize surface material, which can mark depths up to .1 inches. Stain marking, on the other hand, leaves a permanent, dark mark on the surface of the object.
Once you know the material to be marked and the type of mark desired you can begin to get a feel for which laser type and system is best for your application. Balancing cost considerations with other needs can be tricky without consulting an expert, and since so many laser marking problems stem from improper laser use it is highly recommended that you first consult with a laser marking expert before purchasing a new laser marking system.
Contact us for a consultation to help you find the right laser marking system for your application.