Marking by discolouring the surface of a component or by precisely removing paint.
Very much as it sounds, a precisely controlled laser beam is used either to discolour the surface of a component or to vaporise material. The laser parameters and the laser’s position can be precisely controlled to provide high contrast marks in the form of barcodes, logos and graphics.
If a surface is painted then the laser can be used to precisely remove paint. By choosing a translucent substrate that is a contrasting colour a graphic can be backlit for night and day readability.
Common materials that are laser etched include anodized aluminium, coated metals, foils and films, or laminates and painted plastic components.
Such process is used widely in the automotive and aerospace industries on backlit buttons and also by the general manufacturing industry on coated metal components.