What is the Difference Between Laser Marking and Laser Engraving?
Government and industry regulations have made it a necessity for product legibility and identification. It is now essential for a product to have a permanent marking that will not only fulfill the regulation but also add discrepancy to one’s products. Laser marking and laser engraving have so far increased in popularity in the recent years. The terms laser engraving and laser marking are often used interchangeably in the market. Nevertheless, as a business owner or just a property owner looking for uniqueness, one option is always the best for you. You might need to label parts, put a VIN number, put your logo or just serial number- engraving or imprinting, which is the best option?
The Difference It Makes
Terminology is obviously confusing. While laser marking and laser engraving might seem to be similar things, they possess major differences. Each is very different in process and final appearance. The decision to choose either will depend on several things. Fundamentally, the nature of your project and the material in use will dictate almost everything. For some projects, engraving is the best deal while for some marking is just as good. To some people, appearance matters a lot. Engraving might feel good to touch but marking is just as good to look at. Therefore it’s important to know the difference in each technique so you can make an informed decision.
In laser engraving, a significant change is impacted on your product. It involves removing a part of the surface in definite deepness. It is the most common option for people who would like an industrial feel when running fingers over the engraved area. It is a common option for use in plastics, steel, glass, wood and even leather. In Laser engraving, the laser beam directed on the product burns off the surface hence the logo or imprint will never wipe off. The advantage of engraving is that the material will never lose its mark in whatever condition. It is therefore ideal when one needs a permanent mark especially in parts that will be open to very harsh conditions.
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Laser marking is simple and perhaps attractive to look at. It is when a laser beam directed to a surface, slightly alters it without burning it off. It might slightly alter the properties of a material just to change its appearance. The most common form of laser marking entails oxidation under the surface of a material turning the color to black. It is not a very common option. Nevertheless, there are some factors which might require marking rather than engraving. For instance, sometimes it’s only necessary that the material of a product remains intact. Cutting into a material may sometimes damage the longevity of the material, its integrity or even its appearance.
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Whether its appearance or the feel when touched, laser engraving and marking will just be the answer in particular cases. Understanding the difference makes it clear for one to make a precise choice. In whatever situation the importance of part identification goes beyond the laws. It reduces error and most importantly, guarantees part safety.