There is often a lot of confusion regarding the terms; engraving, etching and marking. In years gone by these 3 terms would have completely different meanings, tools and operations. However, with the introduction of lasers all 3 functions can be completed with the same machine:
Laser engraving is the application of an intense beam of light onto a piece of material. This highly accurate beam of light can be used for:
- Chemical / molecular alteration - change the colour of the material
- Ablation – removal of material to create deeper marks.
- Charring - permanently burn the surface of the material (generally associated with wood and other organic materials).
- Foaming - plastics are made lighter/darker by the laser melting the material and introducing small gas bubbles, this increases its volume and raises the marks.
- Melting - heating the material to a temperature where it melts and creates either a texture, colour or depth change.
- Annealing - changing the surface colour of the material without removal or deformation of the products surface (primarily used in the marking of medical instruments to allow for sterilization).
Some of the materials that can be laser engraved include:
We have worked with many different materials and products, however, due to the ever increasing number of new composites, plastics and alloys there will always be something new to mark. Therefore even if the product you have is made from a material not on our lists, it does not mean we will be able to help, it just means we do not mark it very often and has not made our list, or, we would require a sample of the material to test its capacity for laser marking. All samples are engraved within 48 hours and engraved for free.
For more information on materials and engraving, or to find out how we can transform your product, please call 01462 816 623 or email email@example.com.