Introduction to Laser Marking Stainless Steel

Fiber lasers are an ideal tool for many stainless steel marking applications.  The fiber laser itself is rugged, economical and no maintenance and allows for a variety of functional and decorative marking and engraving techniques to be performed on stainless steel.

Marking Options

Stain Marking- This technique is appropriate for stainless steel and allows the laser to cause a dark oxide layer to form on the surface of the part. This oxide layer is permanent and does not raise above the surface of the part. If the part is exposed to high humidity, such as autoclaving, spot passivation after marking with a citric acid passivation solution may be desirable.

Ablation- Ablation type marking removes a very think layer of material from the surface of the part. Marking depths are only microns into the surface and usually results in a white, frosted looking mark.

Engraving- Engraving vaporizes material from the surface of the part and can provide depths of several thousanths of an inch. Engraving generally requires several marking passes with each pass vaporizing a thin layer of material from the part.

Dark Marking- This technique provides a rough surface texture in the marked areas. Although the actual marked depth is shallow, this rough surface traps any contaminants (such as finger oil) present during handling and tends to get darker as the part is handled more.

Examples 

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