Technical Info

How to Laser Mark/Engrave Aluminum

Laser marking/engraving is the process of leaving deep, indestructible traces on a metal surface. By focusing a laser beam in a predetermined pattern on the metal surface, the incision is made, vaporizing some materials to get rid of them. Because of its durability, exceptional resistance to corrosion, and light weight, aluminum has emerged as a versatile material that has come to be required in the majority of industries. Due to its numerous processing options, it provides endless design possibilities. As a result, a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, electronics, building, and construction, have utilized it. Because it embeds permanent codes on components for easy traceability, laser cutting and engraving machine engraving in aluminum is an important process for marking parts.

In aluminum laser marking/engraving, a powerful beam acts as a chisel, vaporizing particles from the metal surface to make deep marks. In order to avoid leaving behind a liquid residue, the laser engraver should emit enough energy so that the surface material is excited to its vaporization temperature, which for aluminum is 2,327 degrees Celsius or 4,221 degrees Fahrenheit. An air knife and a mechanism for removing fumes are two features of modern laser marking systems. The air knife protects the lens of the laser, and fume extraction keeps harmful fumes from entering the workplace.

When marking/engraving aluminum, two types of lasers are utilized: CO2 lasers and fiber laser systems. Fiber lasers operate at a wavelength that interacts more effectively with metals. They are effective at producing a durable, high-contrast mark without compromising the parts’ integrity. Additionally, they last longer and are less expensive. Because of this, they are frequently used for marking industrial parts. Aluminum can be engraved using a CO2 laser engraving cutting machine as well; Because these lasers can also be used on parts made of wood, natural stone, acrylic, and other non-metallic materials, manufacturers who work with a wider variety of materials tend to use them more frequently. Software on a computer controls laser marking systems.

Laser marks made of aluminum remain permanently on the surface. Because aluminum workpieces are subjected to a variety of wear and surface treatments, this is particularly crucial. No matter how long a component lasts or what processes it goes through, engravings never break, tear, degrade, or are thrown away. As a result, it is an appropriate marking method for components that may be subjected to additional rigorous treatments during the manufacturing process, such as shot blasting and sandblasting. If the right machine is used, laser etching aluminum can also be better for the environment than other methods of marking.

Laser Engraving Bare vs. Anodized Aluminum

Both bare and anodized aluminum can be engraved with a fiber laser; however, engraving bare aluminum with a CO2 laser can be more difficult than engraving anodized aluminum.

A fiber laser is the best system for engraving bare aluminum sheet metal. As a pretreatment for the metal, the operator of CO2 lasers is required to spray a special paste. The chiseling agent is then adhered to the bare aluminum by the CO2 laser’s heat. The procedure requires high power configuration and takes time. The marks can easily wipe off if the work is not done at a low speed and with high power settings, necessitating a second attempt. A CO2 laser may cost more to carry out the same task because of these factors. A CO2 laser marking, on the other hand, does not remove any material, so it does not compromise the integrity of the material.

However, engraving anodized aluminum is as simple as using either kind of laser. Aluminum coated with an oxide layer is called anodized aluminum. The material is more resistant to UV and corrosion thanks to this coating, which also provides better lubrication and low-cost maintenance. Whether fiber or CO2 laser engraving is used, engraving this kind of aluminum is simple. As a result, making a permanent mark with low power and cost is easier. However, the ease with which it is engraved may be affected by the grade of anodized aluminum; While Type III sheets require a higher power output to cut through the anodized coating, Type I and II anodized aluminum have thinner layers that are easier to engrave on.


Information Provided by:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *