What Is Laser Marking?

This section explores some common laser marking applications and principles.

What Is Laser Marking?

Laser marking applications

Marking character strings (such as dates and serial numbers)

Laser light is used to mark character strings such as dates, serial numbers, manufacturing numbers, and models directly onto a product. The advantages of laser marking include permanence, flexibility, and reduced running costs. Laser marking makes it possible to mark clearly on different shapes, even those with curved or contoured surfaces.

Molded packages
LED flashlights

2D code marking

Laser light is used to mark data matrices, QR codes, barcodes, and more. As the need for better traceability increases, marking 2D codes is a great way to fit more information into a limited space. Laser marking can be done through black-annealed marking and white marking, making it possible to create a high-contrast code that is easily readable by code readers.

Engine blocks
Switch covers

Logo marking

Logos and various designs can be imported directly into a laser marker's software. Conventional marking methods, like printing and labeling, make it difficult to change the printed content and suffer from ever-increasing running costs.

Laser markers offer a great degree of flexibility when changing designs and virtually no running costs.

Instrument panel switches
Magnifying glasses

Laser marking principles

Laser markers use mirrors to scan a focused beam of high-energy light across the surface of a part. Almost any marking pattern is possible, from characters to 2D codes to logos.

Laser markers require minimal maintenance and don't use consumables such as ink and solvent. Their marks are also permanent, making them the ideal system for many marking applications.

Paint peeling
Lasers can create contrast by removal paint, printed surfaces of plating layers off a target and exposing the base material underneath.
Laser → Base material
Surface peeling
The surface of a target is removed, marked, or engraved in some way. This method is generally referred to as engraving.
Air filters
Laser → Base material
Color development
The surface of a target is scorched, oxidized, or discolored by the laser light, resulting in a high-contrast mark.
Wiring instrument
Laser → Base material