Both laser etching and engraving fall under the general category of laser marking. Laser etching and engraving are similar in that they produce permanent marks created when a laser removes material from the surface of an object.
These versatile part marking methods can be used on almost any material, making them an ideal solution for a variety of industries that require permanent marks for part identification and traceability. There is also a range of industrial applications where manufacturers can use laser etching and engraving to mark logos, date or time stamps, serial numbers, barcodes, 2D Data Matrix codes, and other important manufacturing information.
The terms laser etching and laser engraving are often used interchangeably, but there are some important distinctions between them.
The key difference between these techniques is the depth of the mark. As the depth of the laser etched mark increases, it is often considered engraving followed by deep engraving.
The method you select is dependent on the type of mark you want to achieve. For instance, some post-processing applications such as galvanizing require greater mark depth to ensure mark quality and readability. Certain industries also require particular marking depths to meet regulatory standards.
|Laser Etching||0.0001 in. Depth|
|Laser Engraving||0.0001 - 0.005 in. Depth|
|Deep Laser Engraving||> 0.005 in. Depth|
To create permanent marks, laser etching and engraving processes start with a beam of concentrated light energy.
The laser beam targets a small area of the material, known as the focal point.
The heat generated by the light energy allows the laser machine to alter the material's surface, while the focal point ensures it affects only a specified part of the surface.
The result is a smooth, high-contrast, lasting mark, which can be human readable (serial number) or machine readable (barcode), etched or engraved into the part's surface.
Selecting the Right Laser Equipment
As you research solutions for your engraving needs, here are some resources to help with your evaluation:
Materials and applications best suited for laser etching & engraving:
Laser Engraving is used in a variety of industrial applications
Marking solutions are not one-size-fits-all. Our team works with you to discover the best solution -- a solution based on your application, your material, your goals, and your operation. Get in touch with us and experience the MECCO difference today.