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How Laser Etching Aluminum Works

How Laser Etching Aluminum Works

What Is Laser Etching?

Laser etching is a process that creates marks on parts and products by melting their surface. It is part of the broader category called laser marking which also includes laser engraving and laser annealing. Highly versatile, it can be used with most metals.

To produce a raised mark, the laser beam delivers a high amount of energy to a small area. As a result, the surface of the material melts and expands. This can color the material in black, white, or gray.

Etching is most commonly used to produce permanent markings such as data matrix codes, serial numbers, barcodes, and logos.

Laser etching can be used for almost all metals, including zinc, steel, lead, stainless steel, magnesium, and anodized aluminum. Aluminum etching is used widely for the etching of aluminum.

Aluminum etching is a process in which the metal is dissolved away accurately and selectively by using chemical or acid etchants to create required aluminum parts or components. It results in the creation of stress-free and burr-free components. This process produces parts with more defining features safely and quickly.

What’s The Process of Laser Etching?


By pulsing a laser beam, we achieve a high-energy outburst. A release of 100,000 pulses in a pulse laser of 100W. Each of the energy pulsations mounting to 1 millijoule. In engraving the metals, a lesser energy per area is crucial.

During the process, a beam hits the surface of the workpiece. The layer absorbs the beam converting it into heat. Also, it transforms reflected beams of energy into heat. Once the absorption is complete, the surface melts and expands.

The temperature of the workpiece increases with an increase in malleability. As the malleability shifts, the shape also changes. The surface undergoes different formations as it melts and is allowed to cool. Such a process allows permanent high-quality markings on the surface.

Is Laser Etching Permanent?

Yes, laser etching is permanent. A laser-etched mark will remain readable for the part’s useful life with better readability than other direct part marking technologies. In fact, laser etching can withstand non-abrasive treatments including e-coating, powder coating, and heat treating.

But know that laser etching has its limitations. Abrasive treatments such as shot blasting and sandblasting typically remove laser-etched marks. To maintain readability after abrasive treatments, you need to mark workpieces with shot blast resistant laser engraving.

What Materials Can Be Etched With a Laser?

Laser etching is a versatile process that can be used with almost any metal. The following list is non-exhaustive:

  • Aluminum
  • Anodized Aluminum
  • Lead
  • Magnesium
  • Steel
  • Steel Stainless
  • Zinc

Choose Laser Etching To Mark Your Parts

Laser etching is an important process in the marking of machined parts. Among all metals, aluminum, the most abundant metal, is widely used for etching lasers due to its high conductivity, versatility, and corrosion resistance properties.

During the process, metals melt due to the striking of the laser beam, leaving a mark on the metals. Aluminum etching is usually done by using fiber lasers, giving surprising results.

laser etching is considered best than laser engraving because it takes less time as the metals melt during the method, while laser engraving takes more time in metal vapourization. Various industries use laser etching for manufacturing purposes by considering time, cost, accuracy, etc.

You can confidently choose laser etching to finish the aluminum parts or other material parts you want to mark. At CNC Shop China, you can find the best technology and we offer professional laser etching, engraving, cutting, and other parts finishing services. Our machines can easily allow us to etch or engrave on various materials and surfaces.

CNC Machining Service


DFM Rapid is a CNC manufacturing and sheet metal fabrication company, including CNC machining services, CNC milling services, CNC turning services, laser cutting services, and stamping services.

DFM Rapid offers professional CNC machining and rapid prototyping service for making a wide array of product parts. Our excellent quality control systems ensure that all our deliveries are speedy and standard for every manufacturing size in both low-volume and high-volume productions. Feel free to reach out for a free quote on your project

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