EducationQ&A

What are the biggest myths about laser markable metals?

Myth #1: Laser markable metals are extremely expensive.

Ten years ago, laser markable metals were almost twice as expensive as plastic; however, that relationship has changed. Today, many laser markable metals cost the same or even less than engravable plastics.

Myth #2: Laser markable metals are difficult to engrave.

In some cases, manufacturers have improved their products to make them easier to use. Some manufacturers publish laser setting guidelines on their websites to help users image the material with a CO2 laser.

Myth #3: Laser markable metals are all real metal.

In fact, several of the so-called “laser markable metals” are not metal at all, but extruded plastic. Both real metal and metal-looking plastic have their place in various applications; however, it is good to know that a metalized plastic may not look and feel like real metal, a characteristic that many customers expect.

Myth #4: All laser markabel metals are durable.

Many laser markable metals are not outdoor durable. Even anodized aluminum, long thought to be a highly durable product, has been shown to fade outdoors and be susceptible to abrasion. When picking a durable laser markable metal, be sure you find one that is certified for outdoor usage.

Myth #5: Laser markable metals are difficult to cut and fabricate. Although engravable plastics do have the advantage of being both engraved and cut on a laser, it is easy to cut laser markable metals. If a shear isn’t in your budget, consider purchasing pre-fabricated blanks.

-Sam Wainer and Andy Marvin, Horizons ISG

This response originally appeared in a previous issue of A&E. Continue reading the full article here.

Sam Wainer

Sam Wainer is a Product Manager for Horizons Imaging Systems Group. For more information, visit www.horizonsisg.com.

Andy Marvin

Horizons ISG

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