Why can’t CO2 laser marking machine be used for metal?

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CO2 laser marking machine is a common industrial marking equipment. However, when it comes to metal materials, CO2 laser marking machines show certain limitations.

Why doesn’t this highly efficient laser marking machine work effectively on metal?

co2 laser marking samples

Light Absorption Characteristics

CO2 lasers typically operate at a wavelength of 10.6 microns, which is part of the infrared spectrum. Unfortunately, metals have very low absorption rates for light of this wavelength. This means that when a CO2 laser hits a metal surface, most of the energy will be reflected by the metal instead of being absorbed and converted into a mark. Therefore, even with high-power CO2 lasers, it is difficult to generate enough heat on metal to mark.

metal card marking

Thermal Conductivity

Metals have good thermal conductivity, which means they disperse heat quickly. Even if the CO2 laser generates some heat on the metal surface, this heat will quickly spread to the surrounding area and will not be enough to form a mark on the metal surface. The high thermal conductivity of metal makes it unsuitable for marking with CO2 lasers.

In applications where metal needs to be marked or engraved, it is more appropriate to choose other types of laser marking machines to ensure high-quality and long-lasting marking results.

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