How to Choose the Best Laser Machine for Your Marking Application

When it comes to laser marking machines, most first-time customers find it difficult to pick the right machine for their application. The reason is there are a variety of machines available in the marketplace, each designed with different lasers and materials. The wrong choice can lead to immense expenditure in terms of time, effort, and money. Hence, it is important for first-time buyers to understand certain points when looking for laser marking machines for their facilities.

Points to Consider when Choosing Laser Marking Machines

Apart from some minor considerations, there are six main points that need to be kept in mind when choosing a laser marking machine for your facility. Let us take a look at these points in detail.

Type of Laser: Today, three different laser marking systems are utilized for the most part – CO2 Lasers, Nd:YAG (rod lasers), and Ytterbium (fiber lasers). Rod and fiber laser machines are the popular choices used by most industries, while CO2 lasers are generally used for simpler, personal applications, though this is not always true. All three laser machines are priced similarly, depending on the power output and options.
Type of Material: This is an important factor, as customers have to understand how a particular material absorbs laser light at a certain wavelength. Generally, plastics and organic materials have the ability to absorb high laser wavelengths, above 10,000 nm. Metals in general have an excellent absorption rate up to 1064 nm. This distinction is important, as it will guide the customer to the right laser for their application. Metals will have to be marked with either an Nd:YAG rod laser or a Ytterbium fiber laser. Plastics are marked very well with CO2 lasers, but can be marked with Nd:YAG or fiber lasers depending on the plastic itself.
Pulse Duration: The pulse duration is important, as it affects the amount of laser penetration and depth in a material. Solid state pulsed laser machines are also known as nanosecond (ns) lasers. Depending on the type a customer chooses, the laser machine will be able to achieve a pulse duration ranging from 5 to 200 ns. The pulses can be controlled to be short or long depending on the laser. Short pulses are used for HAZ materials, day-night marking, or other sensitive applications. Long pulses are used for stronger materials, or for more precise marking applications.

Points to Consider when Choosing Laser Marking Machines

The points below provide details about the size and quality of the laser beam, as well as the machines’ marking capabilities.

Marking Quality: While the marking time and depth is easy to quantify, the mark quality will differ with the customer’s requirements. Customers need to consider the resolution, edge quality, line width, HAZs, color contrast, etc. before they decide on a particular laser machine.
Beam Quality: A laser machine’s beam quality is measured by a metric value known as M2. When the M2 value is small, it means that the beam quality is at a high level. A laser beam with an M2 value of 1 is of the highest quality. The beam size can be reduced down to a small spot, while providing high energy density. Also, when the beam quality is high, the chance of it getting out of focus when working with round or uneven materials is decreased.
Mark Field Size: This refers to the area within which the laser marking takes place. The focal length of the laser is directly related to the mark field. If the focal length is long, the mark field will be large, but the power density will drop.

Other Considerations

When using the laser with a higher speed, the frequency should be increased. This will increase the chances for pulses to overlap.
As much as possible, the pulses should overlap with one another. This ensures good edge quality, and a smooth surface after the laser marking procedure has been completed.
The three technologies, Nd:YAG, CO2, and Ytterbium Fiber, provide a variety of benefits to customers. It will also allow customers from the manufacturing sector to perform complete design and manufacturing in-house. If all three technologies are available, customers will have the opportunity to test them, and find the machine that is best suited for their applications.

If you want to learn more on laser marking machine, pls contact me.

Alex Wang

my phone is 0086 18766152065, also this is my whatsapp

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