Metals can be engraved with deep laser engraving using a highly focused beam of light. The best lasers for deep engraving are pulsed fiber lasers because their peak power enables them to engrave metal surfaces.
The two processes are very similar. As the name implies, deep engraving is just deeper, takes longer, and usually requires finishes that are both visually and tactilely pleasing. Find out more if you need deep engraving and aesthetics.
What is the maximum depth of engraving?
Metals can easily be engraved at a depth of a few millimeters when deep engraving is done. Laser engraving, on the other hand, will only go a few microns deep.
It’s also possible to engrave with a laser up to 500 microns deep. Shotblast-resistant Laser marking on metals is typically used for this.
Deep engraving has depth and aesthetic requirements, which is what differentiates it from laser engraving. Contrary to laser etching, laser engraving requires a high contrast to meet traceability requirements.
How Do Deep Engravers Work?
Deep laser engraving is used for incising 3D forms into parts and workpieces, such as logos, drawings, text, serial numbers, and barcodes. It is a repeatable, precise and uniform process.
There are many applications for it. In particular, deep logo engraving, stamping plate engraving, and mold insert engraving (for automotive parts) are the most common.
Some examples include engraving custom knobs and guns, which are highly valuable metal parts. Deep metal engraving can also be used to remove material from a 3D part or to fully carve it.
Is stainless steel suitable for deep engraving?
To deep engrave stainless steel, you need to proceed with caution, as you will remove the protective oxide layer that prevents rusting. You may also notice changes in color. In some cases, color changes occur due to specific alloys, but most are due to the laser parameters.
The laser tends to blacken stainless steel when it is configured to engrave as fast as possible. The process will take more time to produce a clean surface finish.
Since the protective layer has been removed, you have to prevent rust with additional processes, such as painting, chrome plating, and so on.
How Can You Prevent Rust?
By Using Lasers.
In order to meet cycle time requirements, laser power is one of the most important parameters to consider. Although a 500W laser is not five times faster than a 100W, it is still significantly faster.
At least 100W is usually required for deep engraving. We offer two types of lasers at Laserax. The first one is a 200W fiber laser. A fiber laser of 100W is also available at a lower cost.
You can also engrave deep below 100W, but you may find that the engraving takes too long. This is not recommended.