Fiber lasers rated 100 watts or less are used primarily for marking/engraving metal materials. The shorter wavelength of fiber lasers (compared with CO2 lasers) is absorbed by metal much more efficiently. The advantages of fiber lasers with metal are the ability to mark more metal types, penetrate below the surface of the metal, and mark/engrave faster than CO2 lasers of a similar power rating. Fiber lasers are also used for surface marking certain plastics that have fillers that absorb and react to the fiber laser energy.
Fiber Laser Marking/Engraving
The following materials are suitable for fiber laser marking and, in some cases, shallow engraving:
- Metal (most types)
- Plastics – including black acetal, black acrylic, black PTFE, and other plastics with laser receptive additives, fillers, or pigments. For most of these, it is not the organic plastic that absorbs and reacts to laser energy, it is the pigments, fillers, or other additives that react to the fiber laser energy.
Fiber lasers are also used to selectively remove thin metallic coatings on substrates not affected by fiber laser energy, including glass and PET plastic film.
This information originally appears in a Universal Laser Systems blog post.
—Universal Laser Systems