ENGRAVING & INK MARKING
LASER ENGRAVING & MARKING
Laser engraving at CT LASER uses lasers to engrave an object. Laser marking, on the other hand, is a broader category of methods to leave marks on an object, which also includes color change due to chemical/molecular alteration, charring, foaming, melting, ablation, and more.
We do no use inks or tool bits to contact the engraving surface, so there is nothing to wear out during long production runs.
The term laser marking is also used as a generic term covering a broad spectrum of surfacing techniques including printing, hot-branding and laser bonding. The machines for laser engraving and laser marking are the same, so that the two terms are sometimes confused by those without knowledge or experience in the practice. The impact of laser marking has been more pronounced for specially designed "laserable" materials and also for some paints. These include laser-sensitive polymers and novel metal alloys.
Connecticut Laser & Engraving’s high-volume pad printing technology allows highly defined 2D imprints to be transferred onto shaped (3D) surfaces, including recessed and special contours.
A transfer pad picks up the image from a cliché printing plate, and then imprints onto the part. Pad printing (also called tampography) is a printing process that can transfer a 2-D image onto a 3-D object.
MECHANICAL ENGRAVING & MARKING
CT LASER offers CNC Mechanical Engraving which is performed with a rotating tool or cutter in a motorized spindle running up to 16,000 RPMs. The tool used is often an end mill or specialty cutter made of hardened steel or carbide to resist wear during the engraving process. Unlike laser engraving machines, it does not burn the natural materials. Can also be used to cut 3D images and contours.
CNC Mechanical Engravers can engrave and cut a wide variety of materials. Mostly used for engraving and cutting metal, it can also engrave and cut plastics, wood, and natural materials such as marble.
MECHANICAL ENGRAVING & MARKING
CT LASER does screen printing. Traditionally, the process was called screen printing or silkscreen printing because silk was used in the process. It's is a printing technique where a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed. One color is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multi-colored image or design.
LASER FOCUSED ANNEALING
Laser annealing consists of the slow heating of metals with a laser beam and reaching the substrate to turn it a different color.
As the metal is heated, oxygen is diffused below the surface. The metal begins to oxidize internally. Once cooled off, you are able to observe a change in the color of the metal.
The image above shows a black annodized part that when heated with laser the substrate turns white. THERE IS NO INK INVOLVED. With laser annealing, it is possible to color the surface of very specific metals: steel, titanium and stainless steel.
The thickness of the internal oxide layer is determined by the highest temperature reached by the surface of the metal during its heating. The maximum temperature achieved by the surface is controlled by the intensity of the laser pulses, the speed at which the laser beam sweeps the surface and the line spacing between each consecutive passes of the laser beam.
Ablation is removal or destruction of material from an object by vaporization from the power of a laser. Laser ablation is greatly affected by the nature of the material and its ability to absorb energy, therefore the wavelength of the ablation laser should have a minimum absorption depth.
The photo above is when stainless steel is hit by the laser and the substrate turns black. Again there is no ink involved and this process is excellent for medical devices where the surface should not be compromised which would allow the build up of bacteria.
Ablation breaks through highly resistive oxide surfaces, such as those found on Titanium and other exotic metals and alloys without melting the underlying non-oxidized metal or alloy. This allows very quick surface finishing.
The process is capable of providing surface finishing for a wide range of exotic and widely used metals and alloys, including: titanium, stainless steel, niobium, chromium–cobalt, Inconel, aluminium, and a range of widely available steels and alloys.
STENCIL CUTTING FOR MEDIA BLASTING
We use lasers to cut stencils for media blasting for processes like glass etching and sandblasting. Using vector files we can create one of a kind stencil that are simple or very complicated and they are economical. If you ever need a stencil, look to CT LASER.
A quality product needs a quality mark!
Laser Engraving Services in CT, New York & Massachusetts
Connecticut Laser & Engraving uses its mechanical engraving machines to transfer a design (by model or stencil) to the material that will be engraved. Our specialized machinery allows for the diamond drag and diamond impression processes to engrave metal and other hard surfaces. The sharpness of the embedded diamond chips is ideal for precision and detail.
We are the industrial experts for part marking UID's, logos and more using laser marking, laser engraving, mechanical engraving, laser annealing and ablation .... also pad printing, silk screening and more.
Three Types of Laser Marking Used on Metals
Laser Engraving • Laser Etching • Laser Annealing.
For aluminum and many other metals, it is customary to use laser engraving or laser etching to uniquely identify products. For stainless steel, carbon steel, chrome, other ferrous metals and titanium, another laser marking process exists: laser focused annealing.
We can handle large commercial marking projects. Also, we are willing to handle your small project such as etched wood coins for a golf outing or a laser marked water bottle for a company picnic. We are your go-to-people for marking on all parts and products. We have the knowledge to choose the best process for your part while keeping costs in line.
63 N Cherry St, Wallingford, CT 06492