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    Laser Marker: Basics and Applications

    Laser marking technology is a new type of marking technology without wear, contact, and pollution. The laser marker is a marking method that uses a high-energy-density laser beam to act on the target to cause physical or chemical changes on the target surface, thereby obtaining a visible pattern. It has the advantages of fast marking speed, clear marking pattern and writing, strong anti-counterfeiting function, and permanent wear-free marking pattern and writing. The laser marking machine is easy to operate and can achieve high-speed automatic operation with low production costs. Today, ATO will introduce the laser marker for you.

    Laser marker

    Definition of the laser marker

    A laser marker, also known as a laser marking machine, uses a laser beam to mark permanent marks on the surface of various substances. The effect of marking is to use a high energy density laser to locally irradiate the workpiece, and the physical evaporation of the surface material reveals the deep substance or the traces are "engraved" by the chemical and physical changes of the surface material caused by light energy, or some of the substances are burned by light energy to show the pattern and text that need to be etched.

    The principle of laser marking processing

    1. Basic principle

    The laser emitted by the laser undergoes a series of processing, and the energy is highly concentrated in a small range after focusing through the lens, so that the surface material is instantly melted or even vaporized, and the required graphic marks are formed by controlling the path of the laser on the surface of the material. Depending on the properties of the material (such as melting point, boiling point, and temperature that produces chemical changes), the workpiece will undergo a series of physical or chemical changes, such as melting, gasification, oxide formation, discoloration, and so on. This is the principle of laser processing.

    2. Accepted principle

    Cold processing: Photons with very high load energy can modify the material or surrounding medium to the point that the material is destroyed by non-thermal processes. Because of the use of low temperature, the thermal ablation temperature at the bottom of the box is lower, so there is no "thermal damage" side effect to achieve cold peeling, so there is no heating or thermal deformation on the inner layer and nearby areas of the surface to be processed, nor will it cause cauterization, black edge, deformation and other problems to the workpiece. Greenlight marking machines and ultraviolet laser marking machines belong to cold processing.

    Thermal processing: the use of a high-energy laser beam to irradiate the surface of the workpiece, the surface of the material absorbs the laser energy, and a thermal excitation process is generated in the irradiation area, so that the temperature of the material surface (or coating) rises, resulting in metamorphosis, melting, ablation, evaporation, and other phenomena. In order to achieve our final target effect, it is called hot processing because it uses high temperature to achieve the desired effect. Fiber laser marking machines, CO2 laser marking machines, and semiconductor laser marking machines belong to thermal processing.

    Laser processing mode

    The focused laser is like a very fine invisible tool, which vaporizes the surface of the local area of the object point by point. It is characterized by non-contact processing, no contact with the workpiece can be marked on any special-shaped surface, and does not produce mechanical extrusion or mechanical stress, so it does not change the physical properties of the processed items. Due to the small size of the focused laser, small heat-affected zone, and fine processing, some processes that cannot be achieved by conventional methods can be completed. 

    Components of a laser marker

    It is mainly composed of a laser power supply, laser, scanning galvanometer system, field mirror, and marking control system.

    Advantages of the laser marker

    1. Marking durability: Laser marking is essentially a kind of "destructive removal" processing, and the marked marks are not easy to imitate and change, and the marks will not fade due to environmental relations (touch, acidic and alkaline gases, high temperature, low temperature, etc.). 
    2. Non-contact processing: Laser marking is processed by a non-mechanical "light knife", which can print marks on any regular or irregular surface, and the workpiece will not generate internal stress after marking, ensuring the original accuracy of the workpiece. 
    3. High marking accuracy: The pattern of the items marked by the laser marker is beautiful and delicate, and the marks are fine, clear, durable, beautiful, and feel good.
    4. Wide range of applications: Almost suitable for marking any material.
    5. Low operating cost: Laser marker marking once formed, marking speed is fast and the energy consumption is small, no consumables are required, so the operating cost is low. 
    6. High processing efficiency: The laser marker is controlled by an industrial computer. The laser beam under the control of the computer can move at high speed, and the marking process can be completed within a few seconds.
    7. Fast editing and development: Any content can be marked and edited at will.
    8. Flexible configuration: It can meet the processing requirements of commercial small batches or single (semi-automatic), and can also meet the requirements of mass production of industrial assembly lines (full automation). 
    9. Consistent effect: Ensure that the processing effect of different batches of the same product is completely consistent.
    10. Environmental protection: Laser marking is a non-contact marking, which saves energy. Compared with the corrosion method, it avoids chemical pollution; compared with mechanical marking, it can also reduce noise pollution.

    Applications for laser markers

    1. Laser dotting: The laser-marked dot light guide plate is not easy to yellow, has high illuminance, uniform light guide, and long-lasting effect.
    2. Drilling: laser drilling has simple requirements for workpiece clamping, and it is easy to realize online and automated on the production line. Laser drilling can be performed on various materials such as hard, brittle, and soft, with fast processing speed and high precision, and the hole wall surface is smooth and burr-free.
    3. Engraving: It uses the thermal energy of the laser to engrave the material, with high efficiency, and the surface of the engraved place is smooth and round. It can be widely used for engraving various non-metallic and metallic materials.
    4. Laser scribing: Laser marker is a more advanced and flexible technology, the micron-sized laser energy is concentrated on the surface layer that needs to be scribed to process, and the laser energy will not cause a little damage to other film layers or even the entire film layer. Whether it is a solid line or a dashed line, or different scribing shapes, can be simply realized.
    5. Laser hollowing: The existing laser technology can completely hollow out and carve patterns on various sheets. The laser marker adopts a high-speed digital scanning head, which is small in size, fast in speed, good in stability, dynamic focusing, wide in processing format, suitable for arbitrary graphics processing, and compatible with various drawing software. Bitmap, scribing, cutting, and hollowing out can be completed at one time, with no yellow or blurred edges.
    6. Marking: The laser marker can mark on any material product, the logo is clear and fine, with unique visual and tactile effects and the characteristics of never being wiped, so it has strong anti-counterfeiting and anti-smuggling characteristics.
    7. Integrated marking and cutting: the existing laser marking equipment can realize marking and cutting on one product at the same time.
    8. Laser burning: Laser marker effectively combines computer-aided design technology to artistically sort out denim fabrics, and instantly vaporizes or fades the dye on the surface of denim fabrics through high-energy laser beams, so as to form image patterns that will not fade on various denim fabrics, gradient flower shapes, cat whiskers, scrubs, holes washed and old. Due to the high degree of controllability of the laser, many individual color-pulling printing effects can also be realized. 

    At present, the application of laser markers in the industry at home and abroad is gradually being valued by people. Various new marking systems emerge in an endless stream. It is replacing traditional marking methods with its unique advantages, such as stamping, printing, chemical corrosion, etc. Chinese characters, English characters, numbers, graphics, and other marks are widely used on the surfaces of various mechanical parts, electronic components, integrated circuit modules, instruments, meters, motor nameplates, tools, and even food packaging. Some developed countries in the world have taken this technology as the process standard for industrial processing, and now it has attracted the attention of more and more manufacturers, which will replace the traditional marking process and inject new vitality into product production. Therefore, laser marking machine has great development potential and broad market prospects.

    ATO industrial automation currently sells various types of portable fiber laser marking machines, welcome to contact us.



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