Laser marking

Ablation or removal of the coating - Coating Removal

To affirm the presence of the brand in all Italian production companies

Tradex is an established Italian company operating in the Marking, Labeling, and Automatic Identification sector for over 45 years. Born in 1974, it started its business focusing on the marketing of a complete range of products, always paying close attention to the choice of foreign companies to represent in Italy, not only for the most innovative industrial marking and labeling systems in the world but above all for the quality in the construction and reliability of the products: from the micro-character, macro-and high-definition inkjet coders, to the Co2, Yag and Fibra laser systems, up to the thermal transfer label printers and colored.

Years of commitment in the search for staff quality, with continuous selections and scheduled interview sessions, and internal training, with monthly training through conference meetings, have led Tradex to count on a highly specialized organization, which increases the corporate added value and, consequently, hardly comparable to competition for professionalism in the relationship with the customer.

Today Tradex is firmly on the market and has gained access to important Italian and multinational companies, not only thanks to the wide range of solutions offered, but also for the reliability shown by the company, both in the sales process and in the after-sales assistance.

A continuous presence at the most important sectoral fairs has made a decisive contribution to maintaining a competitive edge in the national market. On the international front, the research and careful evaluation of new and better products are the basis of the partnerships stipulated to improve ever more the knowledge of the market and maintain competitive superiority.

Laser marking: how does it work?

The laser marking exploits the chemical-physical reactions of the materials when subjected to irradiation by a special laser engraver. The final purpose of this type of marking is to physically remove the surface material of the substrate or to permanently change its state or color, to create visual contrast between the original surface and the printed message.

Since laser marking is a marking technology that does not add external materials such as inks or inked ribbons, it is crucial to classify the compatibility of the materials to be marked with respect to the source used in the laser marker. Normally the optimal result is the one where the laser beam must be absorbed by the surface of the coating only for a few microns; in fact, this is the quantity of energy sufficient to modify its surface.

Laser engraving, ablation and thermochemical effect

Laser marking can modify the surface of the substrate in one of the following ways: ablation, incision or thermochemical effect, even if the most widespread technology is that of laser engraving.

Ablation or removal of the coating – Coating Removal. The laser marker directs the laser beam to a point and the energy is absorbed by the surface of the coating by vaporizing it. This reaction eliminates the surface patina revealing the underlying substrate which gives contrast to the human or instrumental reading of the message.
Engraving – Etching or Engraving. The laser engraving vaporizes the substrate surface material without producing any color change or contrast. The final effect is that of scratch writing, in which the message is read by the simple effect of light hitting surfaces at different depths.
Thermochemical – Thermochemical. The energy of the laser marker heats the material enough to break the molecular bonds and produce a chemical reaction. The result of this reaction forms a new material which is presented in a different color, facilitating the readability of the message.

Laser marking machines: CO2 and semiconductor sources

Given the huge amount of materials with chemical characteristics at the antipodes, the sources used in laser engravers are more than one and are generally classified into 2 macro-families:

CO2 laser markers
Semiconductor laser markers: YAG laser markers and fiber laser markers.

As far as applications are concerned, laser marking represents a versatile technology which, suitably wired on the type of product in question, can cover the marking needs of numerous materials such as paper, cardboard, ceramic, metals, wood, glass.

The most popular laser engravers

Among the most popular laser engravers, the ones intended for:

Laser engraving on wood. The advantages of laser marking applied to wood are numerous and can be summarized in the absence of waste material, in the possibilities of personalization and digitization and in contactless processing. Laser engraving on wood is increasingly in demand and used in companies of all sizes.
Laser engraving on metal. This type of laser marking is extremely versatile and can be applied to all types of metals. In this context, laser engravers are particularly appreciated for their precision and clean marking.

How to choose the right laser marker for your production?

To choose the most suitable laser technology for your product, consider that:

  • a CO2 laser marker is generally indicated for marking on wood, plastic, fabric, paper, rubber, glass, ceramic and anodized aluminum.
  • the fiber laser marking and the ND: YAG are instead more performing on metals and hard plastics.
  • the marking stations are designed as bench-top, compact, and portable laser markers.
  • the specials meet particular laser marking needs, such as 3D markings or those that require even more power than normal.
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