Machine type usedM Series laser marking system
Laser SourceNd:YAG Q switched laser
ApplicaationAlphanumeric characte generation
Completion Year2001
CustomerTrident Systems Limited
MaterialAluminium, Anodised Black

Laser engraving anodised aluminium display panel, was completed to promote the laser marking industry for an exhibition some years ago. In this case the customer was Trident Systems

The application

Today’s laser engraving systems all use a software package similar to a traditional desk top publishing system. You can create various job formats using the tools available or via importation. In this instance, the software package includes a full range of standard fonts. You simply type the data to the screen, select the font style and size, and you are ready to go.

Anodising

This electrolytic passivation is widely used across industry on aluminium for a variety of reasons. The process can also provide a huge range of colour variations through the use of colour dying. The process changes the microscopic texture of the aluminium by modifying the crystal structure near the surface.

Laser engraving anodised aluminium display panel using Nd: YAG or CO2

The laser marking, in this case provided by Nd:YAG, is used to vaporise the top surface to remove the area affected by the anodising process exposing the host material. Where a darker dye colouring is used, the contrast levels remain high between the two contrasting surface areas. In the case of clear anodising, the surface finish is important. The contrast has to be created by a differential in the origin and the mark area. Due to the origin surface being visible, machine marks need to be removed in order to maximise the contrast available. This sometimes means higher power requirements for the process.

CO2 laser marking can also be used to process anodised aluminium. In this case, it is the dye that is directly affected rather than the material.  The energy from the laser creates a heating action that removes the dye from the surface. The use of CO2 is generally not as well received as Nd:YAG, due to the lower quality created by the mark process. This is directly related to the fact, the heating effect is difficult to control due to “heat creep”. The result is a fuzzy edge to the mark image, and not as crisp as with Nd:YAG. The main advantage is, no material is removed leaving the anodising closer to its original state, as well as, per unit cost being slightly higher with CO2, due to the process time being slower.

The combined precision of the beam placement, along with our tooling design, means the part and mark are precisely aligned everytime we set up a new batch. Your files are saved and held for as long as you wish to work with us.

If you would like further information on this application, or any other application, please request a call back or, talk to one of our laser marking specialists by going to our contact page – link below.

Contact Us for Laser Engraving, Marking & Cutting Advice (thinklaser.com)

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