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Laser Etching

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Laser etching leaves tracing by melting the surface of items and products. It falls within the more general category of laser marking, which also encompasses laser engraving and annealing. Laser etching is highly adaptable and works with the majority of metals. The laser beam concentrates a lot of energy into a small area to create a raised mark. The material’s surface melts and enlarges as a result. This can give the material a gray, white, or black hue. Permanent markings like data matrix codes, serial numbers, barcodes, and emblems are most frequently created by etching. Read More…

Laser Etching Since laser etching is a non-contact process, it has certain advantages over competing etching processes, including the elimination of tool wear and bit breakage, which are regular occurrences in direct-contact etching. With the elimination of the usual wear and tear, laser etching proves a more cost-effective process as well.
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Leading Manufacturers

Maple Grove, MN  |  763-425-4755

Great Lakes Engineering is a trend setting manufacturer of surface mount stencils, precision laser cut parts, and photo chemical etched parts. We work with a wide range of materials, including Stainless Steel, Copper, Brass, Titanium, Nitinol, Nickel, Kovar and many others.

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Great Lakes Engineering, Inc. $$$

Tamaqua, PA  |  888-218-2260

Our teams at Remaly Manufacturing Company, Inc. utilize state of the art equipment to provide you with laser cutting capabilities. Our teams provide cutting services for a wide range of materials such as steel, aluminum, stainless steel, monel and much more.

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Remaly Manufacturing Company, Inc. $$$

Gurnee, IL  |  847-855-9200

Our fiber optic metal laser cutting capabilities include Stainless steel, Aluminum, CRS and other ferrous and nonferrous metals. We can laser cut flat blanks, stencils, signs, prototypes, and custom formed fabricated parts.

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American Industrial Company $$$

Bellmawr, NJ  |  800-210-5000

When it comes to laser cutting, Mercer Gasket & Shim is your industry leader. For over 100 years, we have been providing laser cutting services to a variety of industries. Our facilities are equipped to do laser cutting on a wide range of materials, including plastic, stainless steel, rubber, and aluminum. We are ISO 9001:2008 certified.

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Mercer Gasket & Shim $$$

New Berlin, WI  |  800-879-4418

Sharpe Products specializes in industrial and commercial laser cutting and other custom fabrication services. With our powerful 3,000-watt fiber-optic laser cutter, we are capable of cutting various metals such as mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, bronze, and titanium. For laser cut slots, notching, perforation or drilling, you can count on Sharpe to deliver to your exact specifications.

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Sharpe Products $$$

Camarillo, CA  |  805-389-6868

Rache Corp. is a laser job shop that provides laser cutting services, laser drilling services, laser marking services, contract laser cutting services, sheet metal laser cutting and plastic laser cutting. Rache provides high-quality, cost-effective services for all your cutting needs.

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Rache Corporation $$$

Santa Rosa, CA  |  800-716-2116

For over 15 years Lightwave Laser has been a leader in the laser cutting industry. Our team and our communication make us one of the best in the business. We strive to make products that fit our customers needs and wants of their laser cutting design. Contact us today!

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Lightwave Laser $$$
placeholder image Great Lakes Engineering, Inc. Remaly Manufacturing Company, Inc. American Industrial Company Mercer Gasket & Shim Sharpe Products Rache Corporation Lightwave Laser

laser etching

Etching can be done on various materials, including glass, marble, stone, tile, wood, cardboard, aluminum, stainless steel, wood, paper, cork, plastic, and several polymers. The primary distinction between laser etching and laser engraving is that while engraving removes material to produce deep lines, etching melts the microsurface to produce raised marks. Both procedures apply intense heat to metal surfaces to leave permanent marks. The employment of both procedures is prevalent for part traceability. While laser engraving is more robust, laser etching is faster.

How Does Laser Etching Work?

Laser etching is the process of accurately reproducing images, letters, and numbers from a computer file on a material's surface using a fiber laser machine that produces a light beam at a certain wavelength. One feature that unites all laser marking techniques is pulsing the laser beam, delivering quick bursts of energy at predetermined intervals. Each pulse has a millijoule of energy and a maximum output of 10,000 watts. These pulses produced can be up to one hundred thousand in a second. The pulses are further apart because laser etching a metal uses less energy per area than engraving it.

laser etching working

Types of Laser Etching Machines

Cylindrical Laser Etching Machine

It is more difficult to laser etch cylindrical products such as tumblers, mugs, cups, and wine glasses than flat ones. This is because engraved cylindrical items require careful 360° rotation. When using cylindrical workpieces installed on flat surfaces, the cylindrical type of laser etching equipment successfully traverses a fine helix. These laser etching devices produce the necessary raster image using on-off laser pulsing.

cylindrical laser etching

Fixed Laser Etching Machines

There is also a second class of laser etching devices where the workpiece and the laser system are fixed or stationary. Galvo mirrors are utilized in these devices to move the laser beam around the material's surface while it engraves a design. One can use both vector and raster modes with this laser etching technology.

X-Y Type Laser Machine

The most commonly used laser etching equipment is of the X-Y kind. These devices typically have a mobile laser system and a stationary workpiece or surface. The laser is unrestricted in its ability to move in two dimensions. In some devices, the surface is moveable, but the laser system is stationary. In a select few machines, the surface moves on one axis while the laser system travels on the other.

mini x-y plotting laser etching machine

Applications of Laser Etching

  • Laser etching can be used to permanently label heat-treated items. Etching will go faster if the component is still warm and may even call for a lower-power laser.
  • Raised marks that keep traceability after post-treatments, like powder coating and e-coating, can be made by laser etching. For automobile parts and coated extrusions, many manufacturers utilize laser etching. In addition, etching and engraving are occasionally combined to achieve stronger contrast through thick coats.
  • Laser etching is the most effective method for production applications. It not only leaves lasting markings but also provides the best contrast and fastest marking speed.
  • Due to the process' accuracy and durability for tracing parts, it is widely used in sectors like the automotive and medical component industries.

Benefits of Laser Etching

  • Wide range of applications –manufacturers may use laser etching with various materials, including acrylics, paper, wood, and (most frequently) metals.
  • Effective for both thick and thin materials – Since it is compatible with both thick and thin materials, laser etching is an effective or adaptable method of fabricating metal to engrave exquisite creative designs.
  • Cost-effective – Laser etching reliably produces cost-effective and precise parts. In addition, laser marking equipment uses very little power; as a result, operating expenses are lower.
  • High precision – The laser’s markings are highly exact, making it perfect for marking small details on various products, such as jewelry.
  • Time and labor-efficient process – Compared to other laser marking methods, it moves twice as quickly. Therefore, it is crucial for those who need quick mass production marking or have tight deadlines due to the quick process.

Laser Etching Informational Video

 

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