Laser Etching an Introduction
In this blog we will look at laser etching and laser engraving, the differences between the two and the benefits of each. Laser etching and engraving are additional services we can offer customers and this allows us to offer products marked with images such as company logos or product part numbers.
The name Laser is actually an acronym that stands for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. In the most basic terms this means they produce an intense light that when utilised correctly can disform, melt or even vaporise materials such as metals. Lasers therefore found a place within manufacturing and have been used since the early 1960s. Initially continuous laser beams were created that allowed for laser cutting and welding to take place, and continuous lasers are still seen in many industries today for cutting and welding processes. Later in the 1960s a technique called Q-switching was created, this allowed a laser to be turned on and off extremely rapidly to create a pulsed laser beam. These pulsed lasers made it possible for laser etching and engraving to occur. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that computer processing and software specifically designed for lasers was integrated into laser engraving machines giving rise to the capabilities that we see today.
While laser welding and cutting has been used for some time in manufacturing, laser etching transformed from initially being used as a gimmick to create artwork on wood and other materials such as leather to now being used intensively within industry to permanently mark products with information such as barcodes, logos, date codes and product codes. This also has a lot to do with recent industrial and government legislation that requires part identification and traceability, the benefits of using laser etching are the ideal solution to these new standards.