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COLOR LASER MARKING: HOW IT WORKS?

Up until just a few years ago, color laser marking was impossible. Lasers were limited compared to alternative technologies, which was an enormous disadvantage.

Today, with the advancements in technology and software-level parameters, we have achieved significant results for color — even in the brightest, most defined tones.






1. WHAT IS COLOR LASER MARKING?


COLOR LASER MARKING

Color laser marking is a process that works by regulating the laser’s refraction index, forming a transparent or semi-transparent oxide film. The colors vary based on the type of material being processed.


Basically, if the marking process usually engraves the surface of the material, its physical structure, this process only changes the oxide layer, creating a color contrast effect.

Below is a video on color marking a steel plate using a 30 Watt MOPA fiber laser



2. Color laser marking on metal and plastic


Like other types of laser marking, the effect and parameters vary greatly when we talk about laser marking metal compared to plastic.  

Today, color marking on steel is very popular, as this material responds the best to the process and can be used to create a wide range of colors. Once again, the parameters that influence the final result are laser frequency, power, speed, focal distance, and more.


This article explains how pulse power and time influence laser marking.


Metals suitable for color marking include:


  • Steel

  • Stainless Steel

  • Chrome

  • Titanium

Take a look at the color laser engraving on stainless steel in this video made for Halloween, where we have colored some adorable pumpkins orange.







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