Laser Marking

Understanding the Fundamentals of Laser Marking Technology for Stainless Steel

Understanding The Fundamentals Of Laser Marking Technology For Stainless Steel | Laserchina

Laser marking technology has revolutionized the way we engrave materials, especially metals like stainless steel. This advanced technique is not just about etching designs but also adding a pop of color to the markings. Dive into the world of laser engraving as we explore the principles behind stainless steel laser marking and color laser marking processes.

The Basic Principles of Laser Marking

Laser marking on stainless steel employs a high-energy density laser beam to locally irradiate the surface of the workpiece. This causes the surface material to vaporize rapidly or change color, revealing the underlying material. Alternatively, it can lead to chemical and physical changes in the surface material, resulting in visible marks. In some cases, the laser energy ablates part of the material to reveal the desired patterns or text. A laser marking machine plays a crucial role in this sophisticated process, ensuring precision and quality in the final mark.

Innovations in Color Laser Marking on Stainless Steel

Color laser marking on stainless steel is a creative process where the thermal energy of the laser forms an oxide layer on the stainless steel surface. This oxide layer changes color with variations in temperature, resulting in a colorful marking effect.

LASERCHINA engineers have identified three key principles that lead to the manifestation of color during the laser marking process:

Formation of colored oxides.

  • Creation of a colorless transparent oxide film that produces interference colors.
  • Concurrent formation of both colored oxides and a colorless oxide film.
  • Recommended Equipment for Stainless Steel Color Laser Marking.

Achieving high-quality stainless steel color laser marking requires specific equipment. LASERCHINA recommends the following setups:

  • Laser Type: The MOPA laser (Master Oscillator Power Amplifier), known for its adjustable pulse durations, is highly recommended.
  • Lens Selection: A common choice is the F254 lens, which covers a laser marking area of 170mm*170mm.
  • Stainless Steel Material: A slightly thicker 304 stainless steel is preferred as thinner materials may deform due to heat.

Focusing Methods:

  • For Q-switched lasers, an off-focus method is generally used (usually with a downward focus shift).
  • For MOPA-type adjustable pulse width lasers, a normal focus is typically sufficient.

LASERCHINA engineers provide a guide to the parameters for common colors achievable with adjustable pulse width lasers, particularly the MOPA type that can realize these colors at the normal focus.

Process Analysis for Optimal Color Marking

The color variation in laser marking is influenced by factors such as dense fill spacing, medium pulse widths, and high frequency. In other words, the differences in colors are mainly affected by the single pulse energy of the laser and the overlap rate of the laser spots on the steel. A laser marking machine that can finely control these parameters is essential for achieving a wide range of colors.


The art of stainless steel laser marking has grown more intricate with the capability to add vibrant colors to the engravings. By understanding the underlying principles and using the right equipment, such as a high-quality laser marking machine, businesses can enhance their products with durable and visually appealing markings. LASERCHINA continues to innovate, providing industry-leading advice and technology to achieve the best results in laser marking. Whether for aesthetic appeal or functional purposes, the advancements in laser marking technology continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible in material engraving.


With over two decades of laser expertise and a comprehensive product range encompassing individual components to complete machines, LASERCHINA is your ultimate partner for addressing all your laser-related requirements.

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