The 5 Biggest Myths about Laser Markable Metals, Debunked

Sam Wainer and Andy Marvin are Product Managers for AlumaMark® and DuraBlack®. With a combined 20 years of business experience, Sam and Andy are responsible for product development, marketing, technical support and manufacturing of AlumaMark and DuraBlack. Sam holds an MBA in marketing from UC Davis and Andy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design from The Ohio State University. For more information about DuraBlack or AlumaMark please email info@horizonsisg.com, call 800-482-7758 or visit http://www.horizonsisg.com.

With the usage of laser markable metals on the rise and new products entering the market each year, it is not surprising that a handful of myths have come up. Here are five of the biggest myths that have gone through the rumor mill and the truth behind them:
1. Laser markable metals are extremely expensive: When you consider the higher perceived value of metals, it becomes clear that laser markable metals are not only cost competitive, they can also generate more profit for your shop. Check out your dealer’s prices; you might be surprised by what you find.

2. Laser markable metals are too difficult to engrave: Manufacturers have improved their products to make them easier to use. Some manufacturers publish “Laser Settings Guidelines” on their websites to help users image the material with a CO2 laser.

3: Laser markable metals are all real metal: Several of the so-called “laser markable metals” are not metal at all, but extruded plastic. Both real metal and metal-looking plastic have their place in various applications; however, it is good to know that a metalized plastic may not look and feel like real metal, a characteristic that many customers expect.

4. All laser markable metals are durable: Many laser markable metals are not outdoor durable. Even anodized aluminum, long thought to be a highly durable product, has been shown to fade outdoors and be susceptible to abrasion. When picking a durable laser markable metal, be sure you find one that is certified for outdoor usage.

5. Laser markable metals are difficult to cut and fabricate: Although engravable plastics do have the advantage of being both engraved and cut on a laser, it is very easy to cut laser markable metals. If a shear isn’t in your budget, consider purchasing pre-fabricated blanks.

Sam Wainer and Andy Marvin