Laser marking curved surfaces is common place on industrial products today. As long as the basic rules are followed it is a fairly easy process to complete.
In this example, the material is aluminium which absorbs the laser energy very well, making laser marking on curved surfaces much easier.
The laser has a focal position, which is where both the spot size and energy levels are optimised. But in this instance, we have to set the focal position half way between the upper and lower mark positions. This takes out any potential distortion to the image, as it is applied and ensures the energy available, does not vary so much that the intensity of the image is affected.
There is a general rule when laser marking on curved surfaces. You stay within a 20 degree segment on the circumference, if working with harder and more reflective materials, and 25 degrees if softer and less reflective.
The fill line orientation is also important. To maximise the contrast levels, we always set the scan fill line to be perpendicular to any machining marks on the components. Some anodised layers can be processed by selectively removing the dyes from the anodised layers, effectively bleaching them while leaving the anodised material intact. Careful pulse parameter selection is required, to ensure that the layer is bleached but with no removal of the oxide. Typically, short duration pulses are required with high peak powers and low pulse energy.
If you would like further information on this laser application, or any other application, please request a call back or talk to one of our laser marking specialists on 01737 826902.