Synrad C02 lasers, available from Laser Lines Ltd, are ideal for creating permanent identifying codes on all types of metals. This CO2 laser application highlights how to utilise Synrad C02 lasers to create permanent identifying codes and human-readable text on zinc-plated solenoid housings. Initial trials showed that variations in the zinc plating lead to inconsistencies in absorption - within the space of several millimetres, the mark would vary from being "just right" to being very over-burned.

The solution was to coat the mark area of each part with a proprietary coating prior to marking. These coatings (available for glass/ceramic, metal, and plastic substrates) are applied in paint, aerosol, or label form and then permanently fused to the material surface by the intense heat created by the focused laser beam's extremely high power density. This change allows the power requirement to be dropped from 100 watts down to only 20 watts.

Using Synrad’s WinMark Pro the 31-character text string was marked in a cycle time of 2.02 seconds per part. As shown in the photograph, this process creates a high-contrast, permanent mark that maintains consistency even across the curved surface while eliminating any mark variations due to plating quality. This permanent, high-contrast mark was created in only 2.02 seconds on a zinc-plated steel surface after applying a proprietary coating and then laser marking with 20 watts of power at a speed of 5 inches per second.


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