Does laser engraving fade?

Laser engraving makes indelible marks on the item by producing a large amount of energy directed at very small. Does laser engraving wear out with normal use and washing? The answer is yes and no.

Laser engraving

makes indelible marks on the item by producing a large amount of energy directed at a very small area. This focused energy leaves a permanent mark as the top layer of the material melts, heats, vaporizes or burns.

However, the permanence of the laser engraving depends on the material used, the depth of the engraving, what the engraved item is used for and how often the items are polished. On the other hand, the holes excavated with the engraving have better protection against abrasion than the raised marks formed with the engraving. In fact, the elevation of laser engraving can reach up to 80 microns, while the laser engraving depth can reach 500 microns. As you can see from the graph below, metals absorb fiber laser wavelength (1064 nm) more efficiently than CO2 laser (10.6 µm).

For this reason, fiber laser (a type of solid-state laser) is a better choice for marking metals. As for the durability of the engraving, it really depends on the metal of the ring or the substance being engraved. On softer metals, such as silver or gold, the ring may be scratched and the engraving may wear out over time. On harder metals such as tungsten, engraving does not tarnish.

If you wear the ring on your finger all the time, and the engraving is done on the inside, the engraving will not wear out, regardless of the type of metal used. Similar to engraving, engraving is a long-lasting and cost-effective labeling process. Metal exposed with these engraved laser marks usually lasts between 5 and 10 years. Compared to screen printing techniques, this has improved a lot.

No topical ink on the label means it won't tarnish or fade. However, ink refills that can be added are susceptible to wear and tear. This is something to keep in mind when weighing options. The other type of acrylic used in laser engraving is called extruded acrylic, which is formed into sheets by a machine.

Extruded acrylic is generally less expensive than cast acrylic because it is formed by a higher volume manufacturing technique. However, it reacts quite differently with the laser engraving machine. This type of acrylic cuts cleanly and smoothly and produces a flame-polished edge; however, when engraved, it does not produce that frosted look, but rather a clear engraving. So be sure to use cast acrylic if you want a frosted white finish.

Etching uses chemicals to mark the material, while engraving physically cuts a metal tag, leaving a deep indentation. Most importantly, no material is removed from the surface (unlike laser engraving, which removes material). For laser engraving to occur, the material must absorb enough energy to melt its microsurface and cause it to expand. When marking or laser engraving metal materials, it is essential to have clear and concise markings on materials to provide easily legible and verifiable product types and numbers.

The main difference between laser engraving and laser engraving is that engraving is used on a wider range of material thicknesses. Whether done with traditional engraving or laser engraving, the type of metal the part is made of affects durability. Even if you make deep cuts in the material to make it more durable, the engravings cannot last longer than the material itself. As a result, laser engraving is making major breakthroughs in the jewelry industry, with its ability to engrave almost any type of metal and the options it offers.

However, the depth of the laser engraving varies depending on the material used and the customization needs of the customer. Engraved labels use a specialized fiber laser engraver to directly carve a design or data into the metal material. Engraving usually requires the use of thicker material, as the cuts you make are significantly deeper than engraving. Before engraving on delicate fabrics, set the engraver to a speed of almost 100% and use a very low power (10% or less).

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Shana Lall
Shana Lall

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