Laser marking is a growing method of boosting the efficiency of industrial applications. In fact, this market is expected to grow by 5.8% annually through 2028.

If you’re looking to mark parts and products during the manufacturing or construction process, laser etching on metal is an ideal way to make bold marks quickly and accurately. Read on to learn how laser etching works, how it’s different from engraving, and how the process can benefit you.

What Is Laser Etching on Metal?

Laser etching is a process used to mark parts and products with text or images. It works on a variety of materials including stainless steel, aluminum, other metals, wood, plastic, and stone. It most commonly is applied to various types of metal.

Laser etching uses a laser beam to create a raised image on the base surface. It does this by putting a lot of energy into a small area. The laser beam comes from a fiber laser etching machine that pulses and releases this energy in sudden bursts at the desired intervals.

When this energy is applied, the surface that you’re etching melts and expands. The material will then change color on the etched area. This creates a permanent marking where the laser beam hit the material.

Laser etching is an extremely precise process because the manufacturer can pre-set the tools to create uniform markings. The laser will move automatically over the predetermined area to make a detailed and exact mark. You won’t need to worry about uneven etchings or low-quality or unclear markings.

Laser Etching vs. Engraving: The Similarities and Differences 

Laser etching is a category of laser marking. This category also includes laser engraving. Many people confuse the two processes, but they work differently and produce distinct results.

Laser etching creates a raised image that stands out above the etched material. On the other hand, laser engraving shaves off the material in the desired location with a laser.

This means that the material becomes embossed rather than raised, and the image dips down below the surface. You’re cutting into it rather than altering the material to make it pop up.

Laser etching is a significantly faster process than engraving, which makes it less expensive. The low laser etching cost makes sense since it requires lower energy levels than the vaporization process used for engraving. However, engraving tends to be more durable because they have higher protection against wear and tear.

But laser etching has a leg up over engraving when it comes to contrast. Engraving can only create fairly light black marks while etching makes bold marks in any desired neutral hue. This means that you can have black, white, or gray marks that really pop and stand out.

What Are the Applications of Laser Etching on Metal?

The applications for metal laser etching are almost limitless because the process is so versatile. It’s most common in industrial applications because of its high precision and potential for uniformity.

The top industrial uses for laser etching include barcodes and serial numbers. Users can mark specific parts used in manufacturing processes to distinguish them from other similar parts. This makes manufacturing and assembling end products easier, more precise, and less prone to error.

Barcodes and serial numbers are also required on end products. If an industrial facility finishes manufacturing something made from metal or plastic, they likely will want to mark it before sending it out to the business or consumer that placed the order. Laser etching can keep everyone more organized and ensure that the delivery and distribution processes run smoothly.

Manufacturing facilities can also etch logos and icons onto the products that they produce. This can show who manufactured it and serve as your business watermark. It can also benefit the end user if they want to sell a product etched with their own logo or trademarked image.

The Core Benefits of Laser Etching

The speed of laser etching is only one of its many advantages. It’s ideal for mass productions and tight production deadlines, but it also is extremely precise.

Because of the tiny laser, etching is an extremely precise process that can produce detailed results. You can create tiny etchings like microscopic serial numbers and tiny, well-hidden barcodes. This is especially ideal for those producing small products like computer parts or jewelry.

It’s also great because you can laser etch a wide range of metals. This is because the process works on both thick and thin materials including flimsy aluminum cans and thick steel sheets for industrial machinery.

This makes it great for all types of metal fabrication. You can etch on parts needed for construction and artistically-designed end products.

Laser etching is also a cost-effective way to customize materials. If you talk with a reputable expert about your specific needs, they can help you customize your industrial materials and end products at an affordable rate.

You’ll have tons of options for doing this. Some include logo inscription, artistic imagery, and numeric codes that separate each individual product from others of its kind.

Get Started With Top Laser Etching Services

Now that you know how laser etching works and understand its benefits, it’s time to begin the process of laser etching on metal. Our team works with industrial clients in the manufacturing and construction industries to ensure precision, organization, and efficiency.

We’re committed to providing you with top laser marking services that meet your individual needs. Contact us to tell us more about your specific requirements and get a quote for your project today.


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