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Proceedings Paper

High-power diode laser marking and engraving of building materials
Author(s): Lin Li; Jonathan Lawrence; Julian T. Spencer
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Paper Abstract

A Diomed 60W-cw high power diode laser (HPDL) has been used for the marking and engraving of various building materials, including; marble, granite, clay tiles, ceramic tiles, roof tiles, ordinary Portland cement (OPC) and clay bricks. Morphological and microstructural characteristics have been investigated. The basic mechanism of marking/engraving and the characteristics of the beam absorption are discussed. The effects of material texture, color and laser processing parameters are reported. The work shows that engraving depths of over 2 mm (0.75 mm for a single pass) can be achieved on marble substrates by thermal disintegration of CaCO3 into loose CaO powder and CO2 gas. Uniform amorphous glazed lines (1 - 3 mm line width) of a color different from the untreated materials can be generated on clay tiles, ceramic tiles, roof tiles, clay bricks and OPC by solidification phase formation after laser melting of these materials. Effects of atmospheric conditions, for instance using O2 and Ar gas shrouds, have been examined, with different colored marks being observed when different shroud gases are used. To demonstrate the practical worth of the process a UMIST crest has been marked on a ceramic tile using the system. Laser beam reflectivity is found to depend not only on material composition but also its color. Reflectivity has been found to range between 12% to 18% for the various construction materials used in the experiment, except for marble (grey) which showed over 27% reflectivity. Since the HPDL is a portable device, on-site application of these processing techniques can be realized, which would be either impossible or difficult when using other types of lasers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 August 1997
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3097, Lasers in Material Processing, (18 August 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.281122
Show Author Affiliations
Lin Li, Univ. of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (United Kingdom)
Jonathan Lawrence, Univ. of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (United Kingdom)
Julian T. Spencer, British Nuclear Fuels plc (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3097:
Lasers in Material Processing
Leo H. J. F. Beckmann, Editor(s)

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