In previous posts I tried to describe different laser marking techniques and styles. Most of that information applied to metal parts. Laser etching is a different type of marking and really deserves its own category. In this post we will focus on laser etching glass.
About Laser Etching
Laser etching is the process by which a laser beam will remove material from the surface of the part by vaporizing or melting it. Etching, as the name implies, results in a surface mark with minimal penetration into the part. Deep marks into glass would be engraving into the material, not just etching the surface. Deep engraving into glass with a laser is just not practical and we will discuss why in the following paragraph.
Laser Etching Glass
Glass, when exposed to high power density, overlapping laser pulses, tends to fracture and chip. This chipping leaves shards of glass on the surface of the part and very noticeable bright spots in the graphic image or text that was applied by the laser. By controlling the amount of laser power applied to the glass and the overlap of individual laser pulses on the surface, chipping can be eliminated. The resulting etched surface is uniform and free of loose shards or bright spots. Jimani can provide laser etching services and has developed a method of laser etching glass that creates a frosted direct part mark with no flaking or chipping of the glass surface. You can learn more about our laser etching glass process in action here. Check out the video below to see how we used this process to laser mark 360 degrees around a wine glass.
While glass can be tricky to laser etch, other materials benefit quite well from laser etching. Stainless steel and plastics both benefit from the clear, crisp marks lasers can produce.
Check out some examples of laser etching stainless steel here. You can also learn more about laser etching plastics here.
If you have an laser marking, engraving or etching application that our job shop services can help you with, please contact Jimani to see how we can put our state of the art laser marking system to work for you.