Engraving and etching are ways by which you can cut lines into any hard surface like a metal. While earlier this task of engraving was performed by using sharp cutting tools to remove the cover and beyond, etching was a process that used acids to burn lines into any surface.
In the modern-day, these activities of engraving and etching are carried out through the use of different types of lasers. Laser engraving uses a laser to cut a cavity through the surface of any material and creating an image or writing that can not only be seen but is easy to feel. Laser etching uses lasers to just remove the top layer of the material, without in any way cutting into it or creating a crevice.
Laser engraving uses lasers that produce high heat, which can quickly vaporize the top surface of the material being engraved. Machines that use lasers for etching are less powerful and do not have the cutting capabilities that engraving machines would have. Lasers use coherent light that has been amplified through a process of optical amplification. This amplification produces a focal point, and as more energy is added, the light waves get concentrated. All the light rays have the same frequency, and this leads to a potent concentration of power, which gives the laser the ability to produce heat.
During laser engraving, the laser used causes high heat that causes the metal or material on which the laser is focused, to vaporize. The process is quick, and every pulse of the laser causes additional material to evaporate. This action creates a cavity in the article that can be felt and is very noticeable. The deeper you want your engraving, the higher is the number of passes you must make over the surface being engraved. Laser engraving is a process that provides durability, can be done at high speed, making it cost-efficient and is a process that is very easy to automate for repetition. Depths of engraving in metals can go to 0.125 inches, and engraving can be carried out with lasers on materials like acrylic, glass, leather, wood, plastics, besides metal.
The process of laser etching is very similar to that of laser engraving, but in which the melting of the material is limited to the surface and will rarely exceed 0.001 inches. It is a process that is more commonly used for thinner metals and smaller projects like jewelry. It is a process that is extremely precise, results in material saving, and can be realized at high speeds. In laser etching, the high heat from the beam causes the surface of the material to melt and expand and cause a raised mark. Laser etching changes the finish of the surface of materials and can alter its reflectivity while enhancing contrast. Laser etching can also be carried out on plated metal surfaces, ceramics, and polymers.
Laser engraving and etching processes have used in industries for ensuring part trace-ability that ensures safety and reliability. It is a far more reliable method than using paint or labels. If ever you need a high-quality cut material, then hiring laser cutting adelaide is the best solution for you.