Laser Etching at Contract Joinery Upholstery

laser etching 02

Laser Etching at Contract Joinery Upholstery

|September 13, 2022 | Upholstery

Here at Contract Joinery Upholstery we offer laser etching as one of our professional services. Here we look at laser etching and why it’s so good.

What is laser etching?

The process of laser etching creates marks and patterns, and pictures on surfaces and products by melting the surface. Laser etching can be used on most metals, wood, leather and faux leather, and it is very versatile. The colours are limited to black, white and grey. The process involves a laser beam delivering high energy to a very small area which in turn melts the surface and creates a raised mark as it expands.

Laser etching creates permanent marks, patterns and pictures. Many businesses use laser etching for serial numbers, bar codes and logos.

How does laser etching work? 

During laser etching, a laser beam is pulsed, which releases high-energy bursts at specified time intervals. Lasers are extremely powerful 100w pulsed lasers within just 1 second and can release 100,000 pulses.

When such a powerful laser beam hits the surface being etched, the energy is absorbed, and subsequently, it is turned to heat. The surface will reflect much of the energy from the laser beam, but the part is turned to heat. The heat is then absorbed just enough to melt the surface in the specific area and make that surface then expand.

The laser beam energy is converted to heat which means the surface becomes malleable, which in turn means the shape can be changed.

The process is very quick between heating and cooling, just milliseconds. The changes during the laser etching process occur on the surface, and the roughness and texture of the surface are changed. These changes are permanent.

Black and white laser etching offers a fantastic contrast and looks very eye-catching.

If you feel you would like laser etching, the designs need to be produced in software for graphic design that supports vector files. When you are happy with your design, it saved or converted to a vector file and sent to the laser etching machine,. The machine uses CNC (computer numerical control) in order to determine how the laser moves during the process of creating the specific design required.

What lasers are used for laser etching? 

Two types of lasers are used with laser etching machines these are galvo lasers and flatbed lasers. The difference between the two lasers is how the laser beam is directed and applied to the material. In flatbed lasers, the beam uses a fixed mirror parallel with an x-y plotter system to be directed to the focal lens. The axis is then moved, which in turn directs to laser to the material and where the etching process needs to be. Flatbed laser machines come in different sizes, and the size of the area that can be etched depends on the size of the machine used.

A galvo laser uses oscillating mirrors which operate at a very high speed and direct the laser beam through a lens. A galvanometer controls the mirrors and directs the beam to where it needs to be etched. Using a glavo laser is a much faster process.

If you have any queries about laser etching or a requirement to discuss, contact our experts today, and we will be more than happy to help.

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