Differences Between Laser Marking, Engraving & Etching

(Last Updated On: June 30, 2020)

Laser marking, engraving, and etching are one of those methods which are getting popular among different industries. All of these laser services provide a permanent solution, and you can add a lot of distinction to your products. The three essential techniques and methods look similar, but there are some differences in it in reality. Each method using a different way to deal with the surfaces, and it also depends on how deep a laser can go inside the material. Lasers are considered one of the most versatile and modern machines, and they are commonly used in the automotive, electronics, medical, industrial, and tooling industries. Laser marking will discolor the surface of a material while the other two options remove a portion from a full coating. In this buying guide, we will help you understand the difference between laser marking, engraving, and etching.

Laser Marking

Laser marking will happen efficiently as soon as the beam interacts with the surface of different materials. The laser will change the appearance and property of any product. The shaft is low powered and will cross the content and discolor it in the process. The laser will heat the material, causing oxidation and turning the color of the material into black. The surface of the material will remain intact, and there will be changes in the appearance only. Most businesses use this method so they can handle the identification process to reduce errors and ensure safety.

Laser Engraving

Laser engraving is a simple process when the laser beam can remove the surface of any material physically. If there is any cavity that is exposed to the naked eye, you remove it quite quickly. The laser tends to create a lot of heat during the process of engraving. The material will vaporize into fumes, and that happens to be a quick process. You can form deep marks on the surface of an article, and the process can be repeated many times using a laser engraver. The laser engraving process is suitable for food and drug administration as this device can help label packages using the numeric codes. The laser engraving method will help you engrave various things on products.

Laser Etching

The laser etching happens to a refined step of laser engraving. The process becomes successful when the right amount of heat is released from the beams. No matter how hard the surface of a material is, it will melt. The laser beam will use a high level of heat, which can melt any material efficiently. The material which has melted will expand and cause a raised mark. As compared to laser engraving, the cutting area for laser etching is only 0.001. The product and its reflectivity will enhance the contrast and will remove a large amount of material. You can use the process on bare, anodized, and plated metal surfaces. Even the polymers and ceramics can also be handled with little effort. You will commonly see that the process is used in the medical device and aerospace industry.



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