Alphanumeric Marking Techniques You Can Use
Different marking procedures are used based on different materials and for marking purposes. In terms of alphanumeric marking, it is a little different due to one property which is that the codes must be highly readable. Consequently, not all methods are ideal for it.
Among all the methods used in the marking of materials, only three are ideal for alphanumeric marking: laser marking, dot peening, and scribing. Below is an explanation of the three methods:
Laser Alphanumeric Marking Processes
Laser marking processes includes several marking techniques that are very popular in marking numbers and letters. All the processes employ the use of a laser beam to make a permanent marking. Below are three compatible lasers marking processes used in date marking, letters marking, and number marking:
Among the laser marking processes that we will discuss here; laser engraving is the most popular alphanumeric marking process. It involves using a laser engraving machine to remove the material surface and create a marking observable at eye level.
Laser engraving leads to the vaporization of the material as a result of heat generated by the laser engraving machine. There are two types of machines you can use based on the ease of operation. You can use the portable laser engraving machine or the traditional engraving machine. Each one is ideal for use in different scenarios. For example, the traditional engraving machines are bulky and applicable industrially. The portable laser engraving machines are small. However, based on the advancement in technology, there are many portable laser engraving machines applicable both domestically and industrially.
Laser engraving is a popular marking process because it produces highly readable marks of letters and numbers. It is also compatible with a wide range of materials such as metal, leather, and plastic. However, care must be taken to ensure that the material is compatible with it before use. For example, if the material stainless steel is to be used underwater, laser engraving is not the right method. This is because it will lead to removing the chromium layer responsible for its anti-rust and anti-corrosive properties. Therefore, it will become unsuitable for such use underwater.
Laser etching has procedures like laser engraving. However, unlike laser engraving, it involves using a laser etching machine that causes the surface of the material to melt and expand. This leads to the formation of a raised mark which is the marking. Laser etching is a popular method for date marking, letters marking, and number marking. However, it has a lesser compatible material, unlike laser engraving. The same precaution attributed to laser engraving should also be known with laser etching.
Unlike the previously discussed laser marking processes, laser annealing is non-degradative. It involves the use of a laser marking machine to heat and change the color of a material. The color of the material represents the alphanumeric code. However, the color impacted depends on the type of material and the temperature you are working with.
Laser annealing is the ideal alphanumeric laser marking method for materials that must maintain smooth surfaces after marking. It is used more for date marking, and it is also compatible with a lot of materials, such as metal, stainless steel, etc.
The laser marking process is ideal for letters marking, date marking, and number marking. Although it is costly and material-dependent, using the right tool can help in improving efficiency. Top laser marking machines you can use include the Fl10 and Fl20 fiber laser making.
When You Should Laser Marking for Alphanumeric Marking
The laser marking techniques highlighted above are the best alphanumeric marking techniques when the materials must not be subjected to mechanical stress. They are also important due to their wide material support, ease of operation, etc.
Dot Peening Marking Process
A dot peen marking machine operates on the principle of vibration to mark materials. The machine vibrates, allowing a pin or stylus to mark the required material. The marking is permanent and readable. Therefore, it is a very important alphanumeric marking process in many industries.
The dot peen marking process does not subject the material to chemical or thermal stress. However, due to the vibration, it subjects the material to intense mechanical stress. Consequently, you must ensure that you select the right type of materials for the process.
Dot peen marking machines are controlled either pneumatically or electrically. Aside from that, another property used in separating these machines is their ease of operation. Two dot peen marking machines you can trust are the electric dot peen marking machine and the electric handheld dot peen marker. Both machines are ideal in their ways and are applicable in different scenarios.
When You Should Dot Peen Machine for Alphanumeric Marking
Generally, dot peen marking is an ideal alphanumeric marking process due to its high reliability, efficiency, and durability of markings. It is the only marking procedure that can attain an expected marking depth without disrupting the material fiber of a thin surface. It is also compatible with a wide range of materials.
Scribing is a marking procedure majorly confused with the dot peening marking process. However, both are different, even though they are widely applicable number marking, date marking, and letters marking.
Scribing involves using a carried or diamond top for marking purposes that penetrate the material for marking to take place. Scribing is continuous, and it does not matter what shape you are dealing with. It can work with flat, inclined, concave, convex, and round surfaces. Unlike dot peening, scribing does not operate based on the principle of vibration. Therefore, there is no noise generated during use. Consequently, the method is applicable in marking hollow parts.
When You Should use Scribing for Alphanumeric Marking
Scribing is a modernized process suitable for alphanumeric markings due to its simplicity, low cost, and fast marking procedure. The process is also wear-free, and it has reduced lead time.