Laser Annealing


What is Laser Annealing? Laser annealing is a process that creates a molecular change to adjust the appearance of a material. Using direct heat creates layers of oxidation, which creates a black mark. This process is ideal for steel and titanium. Laser annealing can commonly be seen in medical supplies, and cutting tools because the process, when properly achieved, is corrosion-resistant, which supports the longevity of materials. In fact, laser annealing is an ideal process for medical applications because weakening the materials with etching or engraving is strictly prohibited. While some laser applications rely on ablation to adjust the color of a material, laser annealing does not damage the surface of a material during the marking process.


How does Laser Annealing work? During the laser annealing process, manufacturers must control the energy density that’s going into a material in order to produce the appropriate darkness. Each material will mark differently than the last. The goal is to get your material’s temperature close to the melting point, causing the material to oxidize. With the use of a MOPA (Master Oscillator Power Amplifier), laser annealing can achieve a greater variety of darkness.Varying the laser power can yield different results, which is done by adapting the pulse width of the laser. Once the process is complete, the material will begin to cool, showing a resulting mark. Laser annealing is particularly appealing when it comes to ensuring wearability and survivability for the end user. It’s also a terrific process to support part traceability because of its ability to produce lasting results.


what is the Laser Annealing process? The laser annealing process is very similar to the color marking process in that it requires achieving an oxide layer. In order to take advantage of the laser annealing process, manufacturers must use ferrous metals like iron and steel, and some non-ferrous metals such as titanium. The process requires localized heat in order to create a layer of oxidized material. The oxidized layer’s composition is determined by the pulse frequency, and the speed of the laser. And, in most cases, it’s easiest to produce the color black. At the end of the process, the material’s surface won’t be warped or divitted because no material has been removed from the surface.