Laser Marking

The Revolutionary Application of Anodized Aluminum Laser Marking

The Revolutionary Application Of Anodized Aluminum Laser Marking | Laserchina

Today, we delve into an even more widely used laser technology – anodized aluminum laser marking. This post will discuss the characteristics of anodized aluminum materials and the design of experiments to investigate the principles behind anodized aluminum laser marking.

What is Anodized Aluminum?

Anodized aluminum refers to the process of forming an oxide layer on the surface of aluminum products through electrolysis in specific electrolytes and under certain process conditions. This transforms the surface characteristics of ordinary aluminum materials, enhancing their coloration, corrosion resistance, acid and alkali resistance, and electrical insulation properties.

Anodized aluminum is the darling of the construction materials and digital 3C (Computer, Communication, and Consumer Electronics) sectors. In Western countries, anodized aluminum curtain walls have been successfully applied for nearly 20 years. Recently, anodized aluminum panels have gained popularity in China as a new curtain wall material, with notable projects including the Hainan Provincial History Museum and the Dalian International Conference Center.

In the digital 3C sector, anodized aluminum is most commonly used for tablet and laptop exteriors.

Advantages of Anodized Aluminum

Before diving deeper, let’s first understand the structure of anodized aluminum. The anodic oxide film consists of two layers: the inner layer is a dense, glass-like film of high-purity alumina with a thickness of about 0.01 to 0.05mm and high hardness; the outer layer is a hydrated alumina (Al2O3·H2O) film. This film is colorless and transparent, with a nano-porous structure that allows it to absorb various colors easily.

Thanks to this oxide layer, anodized aluminum boasts several significant advantages:

  • Matte texture while retaining a strong metallic luster.
  • Ability to be dyed in rich colors, adding decorative appeal.
  • Resistance to oxidation, corrosion, UV rays, and weathering, ensuring durability without discoloration or peeling.
  • High resistance to heat and fire, with a melting point of over 2000°C after anodization.

The Effectiveness of Anodized Aluminum Laser Marking

In practical applications, laser marking machines are used to create black marks on the surface of anodized aluminum materials. This technique is widely used for product identification, anti-counterfeiting, statistics, and traceability. Compared to traditional silk-screen printing, laser marking offers distinct advantages such as permanence, anti-counterfeiting, and low cost, as it requires no additional materials or labor and has minimal consumption.

Principle Analysis of Anodized Aluminum Laser Marking

LASERCHINA engineers conducted experiments by taking two identical samples, one untreated and the other treated with laser marking. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) analyses were performed on both samples. The SEM analysis revealed no significant structural changes between the treated and untreated areas, except for a darker color in the laser-marked regions. Similarly, the EDS analysis showed no significant chemical changes, indicating that the laser marking process does not damage the anodic film or alter its chemical properties.

In conclusion, the principle behind anodized aluminum laser marking involves using high-energy laser beams to create a nano-effect on the surface, increasing the material’s light-absorption properties and resulting in a visible black color. This physical process does not cause any significant structural or chemical changes to the anodic film.

Conclusion

Anodized aluminum laser marking represents a significant advancement in material processing technology. Its ability to provide durable, aesthetically pleasing, and tamper-proof markings has made it a preferred choice in various industries. As we continue to explore the capabilities of laser marking machines, the potential applications for anodized aluminum in construction, digital 3C products, and beyond are bound to expand, making it a technology worth watching.

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