The inscribing of anodized aluminum or coated metals is especially easy with CO2 lasers. During the engraving of anodized aluminum, the inscribed surface becomes white, reason for which dark eloxal produces a particularly good contrast. With coated metals, the coating is removed and the base metal appears. Since CO2 lasers cannot inscribe metals directly without additives (or only with very large limitations), the metal layer remains intact. For this type of application, a laser system with low output is preferred, in order to execute inscriptions with fine structures.
In metal marking, individual parts are generally labelled with serial numbers, bar codes, data matrix codes or logos. Laser inscribers are especially well-suited to this task because they generate a permanent, indelible, forgery-proof, thermally and chemically-resistant metal marking on workpieces and systems. Laser marking also stands out for its high processing speeds, precision and flexibility.
Anodised aluminium is used primarily for the production of signs (e.g. type plates), or in the promotional materials industry (e.g. for ballpoint pens or key chains). However, anodised aluminium is also a popular material in the industrial sector.Marking anodized aluminum parts with a CO2 laser is a simply process. The laser removes the pigment from the anodizing and thus creates a white mark. The darker the anodized color, the better the contrast will be. This can be done with even relatively low powered systems and does not impact that actual metal layer itself. This ensures that the base metal integrity is intact.
Metals with coatings such as paint, ink and oxides and be processed with a CO2 laser also. In this case the actual coating is removed, but there is no impact on the base metal. The contrast is created by exposing the base material.
Common applications for anodized and coated metals would be machine plates, name plates and a wide variety of advertising specialty items. There are also many industrial applications such as tools, racing products and other durable goods. The laser is capable of putting barcodes, 2D codes and serial numbers as well as any logo that can be imported into the software. The great benefit of laser marking is the non-contact method, speed and of course the quality.