The use of lasers for marking has become common in many industries and applications. Many of the every-day products which we take for granted, like the keyboard used to type these words, are marked using a laser.
There are also other less well known applications where lasers are used to mark individual items with data matrix codes, bar codes, serial numbers, dates and other pieces of important information, for a variety of reasons.
The flexibility of lasers, combined with their ability to mark a diverse range of metals, has seen the technology become the process of choice for manufacturers of high performance components, such as those used in aerospace or formula One race cars at one end of the spectrum and jewelers, who use lasers to mark and engrave precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum and titanium at the other.
PowerLine E-10 lasers from Laser Resources are flexible and able to produce either round or square matrix elements although dense information, squares are often preferred. The laser can also mark small codes (down to 1mm X 1mm), which is not possible using other marking techniques. Due to their small size and large data capacity, the data matrix codes make it possible to identify nearly every component on the car from wishbones and steering racks, to pistons, fuel injectors and even nuts and bolts.
The high beam quality produces a small focused spot and this combined with short pulse lengths enables high quality matrix codes to be produced on almost all materials including steel, titanium and aluminium.
The PowerLine E-10 laser can produce codes much smaller than 1mm X 1mm but both the mechanic and the code reader would struggle to actually find and read the code.