How to Cut Laser Etched Stainless Steel Tags
Laser cutting, marking, or etching are all part of a highly sophisticated, state-of-the-art process. One machine is all that is needed for all of these processes. The machine works using computer software that can be set to perform the necessary process.
Laser cutting is the process in which the metal is cut with the laser into the steel tags or plates that will be used. The beam from the laser cuts the steel all the way through with the laser to form the laser tags. When cutting through stainless steel with a laser, the result is a polished, smoothly cut finish with no rough edges. Since there is no contact at all with the metal that is being cut such as blades or needles, you get a very precise edge. The laser can be set to cut the tags to any size you want.
Laser marking is a process in which the steel is marked with the beam of the laser causing it to darken or lighten in select areas. It can be compared to drawing a design on the metal but without pencils or ink. Words, letters, and logos are drawn or burned into the metal by the heat of the laser. They can not be rubbed or washed off. No sharp tools ever touch the metal and the only contact with the metal at all is made by the heat of the laser. The laser marks will remain a permanent part of the stainless steel tag.
Laser etching uses almost the same process as laser marking. The difference is that with laser marking, no metal is actually removed in the process. The colour of the metal changes in places to form the letters, numbers, logos, or other designs. In etching or engraving, controlled amounts of metal is removed as figures are etched into the metal. The result is that the design is inlaid into the metal, giving it a more polished and detailed appearance. Designs from laser etching can range from simple to very intricate and multi-dimensional.
First, using the computer, the machine is set to etch or engrave the exact pattern you want including the depth and size of each figure. The depth can be set to make a slight inlaid design, or deep enough that the design is cut through to the other side. Before you start, the metal plate or tag is sprayed with a special acid solution and left to dry for a few minutes. The laser then cuts into the metal, removing enough so that the design is formed. The process takes less than one minute per stainless steel tag. After the etched design is done, the metal is gently rinsed with water to remove any particles of steel and remaining solution.
Gone are the days when cutting and etching had to be done with sharp tools and lots of sweat. Modern advancements have helped us to do the job not only much faster, but better and with improved quality that we have passed on to our customers