Color Marking


What is color marking? Color marking is a process that allows manufacturers to adjust the refractive index, forming a transparent or semi-transparent oxide film. Depending on the substrate with which you’re working, the colors can vary. Rather than using lasers to engrave or cut the surface of a material, marking delivers a contrast in color by varying the oxide layer.

Manufacturers have been using lasers to add color to materials for over a decade. Plastics like ABS, PE, and glass-filled plastics with proper additives are compatible with the color marking process. But it’s most common to see metals like titanium, and stainless steel in the color marking field because it’s easiest to achieve an oxide layer to alter the light refraction with these


How does color marking work? Color marking requires a specific focus beam. Both pulsed and continuous lasers can be used to create identifying marks, barcodes, and even numbers.The pulse length and other variables determine how much heat touches the surface of a product. During the color marking process, focused energy is used to change the molecular structure of a material. In plastics, localized heat allows you to bring out a darker or lighter hue in the material, and the color is determined by the material’s composition. When working with metals, color marking involves precipitating a carbon layer on the surface, which often results in a colorful hue.


What is the color marking process? Special built laser systems harness the power of light to change a material’s color. Each laser marking machine varies in its operation. And the process is greatly impacted by the material choice. By adjusting the laser’s pulse length and width, laser operators can impact the energy density of the material, which contributes to color differences. Taking the laser out of focus can help to prevent damage to a material, which is particularly important in medical marking. And while working with a Master Oscillator Power Amplifier (MOPA), you can even vary the wave forms. Laser Marking Technologies has a matrix that can step in to modify the currents, speeds, and other variables to expedite the process.