Laser Engraving â€“ What It Is? All You Should Know Laser engraving is a special type of laser marking for aircraft cables that produces the same results as brought about by traditional engraving methods, but it doesnâ€™t use any kinds of ink or tools that touch the surface material. In laser marking, a low powered laser beam is moved slowly across the material, which slightly discolours the material, creating high-contrast permanent markings without damaging the structural integrity of the material. But, laser engraving uses a high powered laser beam that vapourizes the surface of the material, leaving a cavity with a depth of 1/15th to 1/8th of an inch.
How is laser engraving performed? Laser cutters are used for engraving the design onto the material surface. These cutters are computer-numerically-controlled machines, or CNCs. A software is used to take vector files and turn them into mathematical data that tells the controller how to move the laser to produce the design. There are a number of laser machines available that vary significantly in their function and properties. CO2 laser engraving machines are small sized and emit low powered laser beams; high-powered fiber lasers facilitate high volume laser marking and engraving applications in an industrial setting. Generally, all laser cutting machines have three common components â€“ the laser, the laser control system, and the marking surface. A software program is used to modify settings on the laser cutter, including the power output of the laser and the speed of the controller that directs the laser across the material surface. In fact, the settings can also be changed to interchange the functionality from laser marking to laser engraving to laser etching. Graphics editing software is used to produce the image that needs to be engraved
onto the surface. Vector files are the ideal option to maintain clarity and proportions when adjusted to any size. The image is then uploaded into the laser cutter software via a vector file, which is then translated into numerical data. This data is then taken up by the software to program the controller to produce the image.
Which materials and applications can be laser engraved? A variety of materials like stainless steel, anodized aluminum, plastic, wood, and glass can be easily laser engraved. The objects that are laser engraved are generally those that are likely to experience high levels of wear and tear throughout their life. Such objects need a permanent marking that won't be affected by the wear and tear, which is why laser engraving is the best option. The aerospace and defense industries are the most popular applications that use laser engraving. This is because aerial and military vehicles incorporate thousands of parts that travel through a complex global supply chain from the point of origin to the manufactured product, with numerous stops along the way. To promote quality and accountability throughout the supply chain, part-makers use laser engraving machines to mark products with barcodes and serial numbers which establishes their traceability.
What makes laser engraving beneficial? Choosing laser engraving over other alternative marking methods is very beneficial.
Low variable costs – Laser engraving does not require wastewater treatment or a certified third-party company to dispose waste, like in the case of chemical engraving. Laser engraving machines have zero inputs besides the power it takes to run them, which results in low and predictable costs for manufacturers. Permanent markings – Part builders commit to quality in manufacturing through certification with various quality standards like ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems. Traceability markings that are applied to parts during the manufacturing process should be permanent as these parts will be exposed to extreme conditions like high temperatures, extreme pressures, and environmental hazards. Laser engraving can produce such permanent markings on every component of the aerospace and military vehicles. Versatility – Laser engraving can be applied to almost every component and part in the global aerospace supply chain. Thus, the procedure is versatile, unlike other traditional procedures that have their own limitations.
You can get the best laser marking for aircraft cables done at Miracle Aerospace, the leader in cable manufacturing and marking, both in-house. You can also have your cable assemblies customized here as per the design and colour you want.