Machine type used LightWriter laser marking system
Laser source Fibre laser
Application Logo generation
Completion year 2015
Customer withheld
Material Aluminium, Clear anodised

Laser marking corporate logo onto clear anodised aluminium

This cylindrical product is manufactured from aluminium,  is clearly anodised in order to have the surface more tolerant to handling and daily usage. Laser processing was selected, due to its flexibility and process speed proving attractive per unit costs. So the customer in question was excited to chose laser marking of their corporate logo directly onto the aluminum products.

Laser marking using fibre lasers

Here, we are using a 20 watt fibre laser in a low waveform configuration, in order to break through the anodising in order to effect the base material. The power levels are so low, that when this occurs, there is very little burning of the aluminium and so this almost white effect occurs. To achieve consistent white marks on aluminium, the correct laser power, repetition rate, marking speed and image fill ratio, must all be made. With most aluminium’s a slight deviation either way, from your standard settings should be enough to pull back any variation you see. In some cases, it may also be worthwhile considering a second pass with much lower power settings, to lightly skim the image, removing any burning caused by the initial process pass.

The image does wrap around the circumference a little, but stays well within any beam focal tolerance. We could probably increase the image size by another 10-20%, without losing definition and or power.

CO2 lasers 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 that 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, that no material is removed leaving the anodising closer to its original state, per unit cost will be slightly higher with CO2, due to the process time being slower.

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.

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