View Full Version : YAG Laser???

01-26-2005, 12:41 PM
Hi Guys,

I have a customer who needs brass engraved. I have been told that a YAG is the correct laser for this - my CO2 simply doesn't work out... So, is there anyone here or do you guys know of anyone that can do production quanties of brass fixtures? The closer to MI the better - but UPS is always an option!



Kevin Huffman
01-26-2005, 3:42 PM
Hey steve,
You can use brass with your CO2 laser. it just has to be a coated brass. You can find brass templates @ www.laserbits.com (http://www.laserbits.com/) they have set sizes or whole sheets you can cut down. It will come to you all black. If you are wanting just black letters on brass, you will need to engrave away all the exess coating.

I have also heard of a coating that is clear that you can put on brass, that will turn black when engraved. I can't remember the name of it to save my life though. I want to say domeing?..... but it is like that but not really. It has a different name. It will come to me one day and I will have to post it when I remember it.

Let me know if this helps.

01-26-2005, 4:12 PM
Hi Kevin,

Thanks... The application is actually for brass lock escutcheons, they are pre-formed and coated with a varnish like layer. Not all escutcheons will have the engraving on them - so I can't get the raw material...

Nick Adams
01-26-2005, 10:08 PM
Cermark* and trotech? Both make metal marking solutions. However brass isnt one of the materials the marks stay on very....If at all. Can you not engrave them with a rotary and oxidize them and reseal?

And yes, Most YAG lasers can mark Brass. However I believe that the mark wouldnt be black.....At least I cant for the life of it figure why it would be. Unless its a very high powered yag.

later remembered Thermark now has a product for softer metals.

Thermark (http://www.thermark.com/index.htm)

Keith Outten
01-26-2005, 10:58 PM

Thermark does indeed have a chemical that works on brass. I have a sample bottle in my office but have not had the time to do a test yet. I believe it also works on copper and stainless as well.

What kind of engraving is required for the job? Is rotary engraving an option?

01-27-2005, 8:15 AM
I'm not sure - I really don't know much about rotary engraving. Could anyone give a 5 second tutorial???

As to the coating solutions, I don't have access to the raw material - when they are ready for the image to be engraved, the escutcheon is formed and a varnish like coating is applied.


Nick Adams
01-27-2005, 10:54 AM
image to be engraved Leads me to believe it would most likely not be rotary engravable.

Rodne Gold
01-27-2005, 4:24 PM
Its a contact form of engraving where a bit or a cutter rotates and plunges into the material and cuts a path in it as it goes along , normally used with a v shaped cutter , it physically removes material rather than vaporising it like a laser does with light.
A galvo YAG with enough power will engrave brass or at least mark it.

Mike Mackenzie
01-27-2005, 6:15 PM

I have posted a picture of what brass looks like when done with a yag laser. The picture of the black letters has been oxidized. these were done using a 50 watt YAG. the mark penetrates the material only 2-3 thousands.

I just wanted to give you something to look at.

01-27-2005, 7:53 PM
Yes, the oxidizer is exactly what I am looking for - I'll try and scan a sample and post it...


Roy Brewer
01-28-2005, 12:31 AM

I'm sure you picked up on the fact, from Mike's photos, that ULS sells a YAG. I bet they could tell you who has one in your area.

I have two YAG owners in the Dallas area. Let me know if you can't find anyone closer and I'll put you in touch with them.

David Takes
01-28-2005, 8:26 AM

I have a wholesale job shop in the Kansas City area that does all of my production YAG engraving. On brass, they would use the engraving and oxidizing process that Mike pictured. You can skip the oxidizing and get a tone-on-tone image that is visible, but the exposed brass is going to darken over time anyway, so you may as well oxidize to begin with.

Shoot me an e-mail if you want my source.

By the way, I do have a YAG on my wish list.