ThinkLaser work with a range of FTSE 100, Universities, and other large and exciting organisations to enable them to make best use of the benefits of laser technology.
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Below, we look at the benefits of laser technology for manufacturing, and provide an overview of laser engraving, laser marking and laser cutting application possibilities.
Benefits of Laser Marking
Laser marking based technology is now a widely accepted addition to those more traditional tools used for component marking. The benefits the laser marking application process provides can be an important addition to your production environment.
- No clamping or retaining during the laser marking or engraving process
- No impact force to the part during the marking process
- No chemicals being used, therefore environmentally friendly
- Placement accuracy and quality is repeatable and sustainable
Laser engraving and cutting flatbed technology is now widely used in many non-industrial environments. The large area process format, combined with the wide range of material processing capability, makes it an ideal flexible, low cost machine for market sectors such as education, fashion, sign making and model making.
The following list identifies common materials and identifies if they can be processed using lasers and if so which are the most appropriate.
! – This indicates that the materials could be marked using this type of laser but that there are issues.
For example, low density foam has a tendency to melt when too much energy is applied. The surface and density can be inconsistent and therefore difficult to control.
The guidance provided is just that. We have learnt from years of laser application on a wide range of materials that there are always exceptions to the rules. We recommend that you have your materials tested so that you can determine if the results meet expectations. We must stress the importance of sample testing.
Examples of bending the rules:
Cermark – Thermark – Marksolid
Provides a permanent chemical bond with the base material when the laser energy is absorbed. This formula allows you to use a wavelength of laser light not normally associated with a particular material type (for example you could use a CO2 laser to process Stainless Steel, a match that would not normally work). The material can also be used to enhance the process (for example you can use any of these to achieve a black or white mark onto Glass or simply use it to achieve a dark black mark on steels and aluminium). There are additional costs involved with using the process (applying the material and washing off residue at the end of the process) but it does provide process options.
Can be modified using laser absorbent additives. Normally mixed as part of the master batch, the additive creates an absorption barrier to materials that traditionally would have translucent properties improving marking results.