Photos and Laser Etching Black Anodized Aluminum

Although photo image marking doesn’t constitute much, if any, of our job shop marking business, I wanted to understand a bit about it so I decided to do some playing around.

The tiger below was marked with a CO2 laser and the girl was marked with a fiber laser. In both cases, the substrate was black anodized aluminum.

The CO2 was the easier of the two to set up. CO2 lasers in Prolase can be made to mark gray shades. The fiber has to use a “dithering scheme” in order to give the appearance of gray shades. Although the fiber laser image has better detail (smaller focused spot size), finding the correct laser settings was more complicated that it was on the CO2 laser.

It might be possible in the future to get the fiber laser system to mark in gray shades but not at the moment. In Prolase, the fiber laser configuration is a modification of the YAG laser configuration. YAG lasers could not change power levels quickly enough to do gray shades and so the dithering scheme was adopted. The CO2 laser tends to “bleach” the black anodized aluminum whereas the fiber laser tends to vaporize the anodize. Both images look very nice but I prefer the image of the girl. I’m biased….she is my niece.

CO2 laser marking card resized 600

The CO2 laser marking systems from Jimani are ideal for marking:

  • glass
  • wood
  • paint removal
  • plastics
  • leather
  • organic materials

Laser etching and laser engraving effects are strengths of the CO2 system.

The Jimani Langolier is a cost effective, highly reliable, zero maintenance, energy efficient, turn-key laser marking system integrated with industry leading components and safety features and is appropriate for a broad range of materials and applications. 

  • Laser Engrave or Laser Etch all Metals, Many plastics and Non-Metals
  • Laser Mark Bar Codes, 2D Matrix
  • True Type Font Support
  • Radial Text, Serialization
  • EPS, PLT, DXF and Most Vector Files
  • Automation Friendly

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