As an extremely focused radiation of wavelength, laser beams emit heat energy that can alter the surface layers of most materials under its focal point and create marks, holes or patterns.
Offering precision engraving with quick turnaround, laser engraving services are useful for industries including architectural, medical, electronic, automotive, construction and transportation. Of this laser machining subcategory, there are two main types of laser engraving: vector engraving, which follows the lines of the engraving pattern, and raster engraving, in which the laser slowly advances while tracing back and forth across the material surface in a linear pattern. Laser engraving is performed through machines that are made up of three main parts: a laser, a controller and a surface.
The controller, which is typically a CNC computer that directs the laser according to the dimensions as well as the design input from the CAD computer program, emits the laser beam and controls its direction, intensity, speed and spread. The focused beam of the laser vaporizes or fractures surface layers of materials that are positioned upon the surface. Assist gases like nitrogen or carbon dioxide are then used in conjunction with the laser to prepare newly cut surfaces for painting and corrosion resistance. Laser engraving is ideal for materials such as metals and alloys, silicon wafers, ceramics, graphite, polymers and glass.
Since laser engraving is a non-contact process, it has certain advantages over mechanical engraving processes, including the elimination of tool wear and bit breakage that is a regular occurrence in direct-contact engraving. With the elimination of the usual wear and tear, laser engraving, which is also known at laser etching, proves a more cost-effective process as well.Since the process is computer controlled, laser engraving ensures that each unit will be produced in a completely uniform manner, without any fear of human error. Due to its detailed accuracy, design flexibility and permanence, laser engraving has become an industry standard in production lines and has largely replaced slower technologies such as hot stamping and hand etching. Laser engraving serves wide-ranging applications including direct laser imagining, promotional products, calibration, printing and sub surface laser engraving.