Annealed marking on uneven parts

Steel marking, etching and engraving

Discover our rotary and laser steel engraving machines!

Steel is the most widely used material, as a raw material or as a component of industrial parts, particularly in the automotive industry. New types of steel with improved mechanical properties are now available such as anodized steel, carbon steel, stainless steel and can be easily marked, identified, traced by our Gravotech solutions.

Gravotech has extensive experience in the steel engraving industry and brings its expertise to help you find the best marking solution for your needs.

Different marking methods are available:

Steel laser engraving is done without any contact with the part and does not require any pre-treatment/post-treatment.
The result is a permanent, resistant, high-contrast marking with high definition finish and without damaging the steel. From the rawest to the most polished steel, steel laser engravers are flexible and offer a lot of marking possibilities, engraving, etching and annealing marking. It is the ideal technology for high-speed for marking & surface engraving on steel.

The Direct part marking by dot peen is performed thanks to a tungsten carbide stylus which comes into contact with the surface and deforms the material, thanks to a succession of impacts that form the final marking.
The result is a legible, resistant, permanent, non-contrasting marking that can be before and after treatment (painting, galvanizing, etc.). Ideal for industrial applications, it is a fast and reliable marking solution ideal for identification & traceability of any steel parts.

The scribing technology uses a carbide tip or diamond tip to apply permanent marking directly on the hardest steels (up to 62HRC) with a high lifetime. Unlike dot peen, the tip doesn’t vibrate but slides along the surface, the result is more clear and attractive.This process has the advantage of being very quiet on steel parts with high resonance like tubes, sheets and so on. Rotary engraving is performed with a cutting tool by rotating and removing material slice by slice thanks to a high-speed spindle.
The result is a deep engraved text, numbers, or logos and long lasting. It can also be used for drilling or light milling.

How to engrave steel?

Steel laser engraving - multilevel

Laser etching
Laser engraving occurs when the heat of the beam melts only the surface of the material and does not fully penetrate the material.
Thanks to this process, laser marking a few millimeters deep is made. The high power of a steel laser engraver generates high heat to melt the surface of the material. Oxides sometimes form in engraved areas, making the marks clearer and more visible.
Characteristics of laser etching process
For the marking process to be easily integrated into a production process, laser engraving must meet the requirements of speed. Thanks to the laser, the roughness of the material is directly modified, and the surface becomes contrasted, and the marking generates bumps.

When marked components still require reworking or additional painting and the material is rough, laser engravings need to be applied deeper into the steel. Steel laser engraver creates high heat during the engraving process, which causes the material to vaporize. This creates a cavity in the surface that is perceptible to the eye and to touch. Therefore, it is particularly recommended when the laser marking suffers from post-process stress.
Characteristics of laser engraving process
Engraving before treatment requires high power and several passes to obtain a marking to sufficiently give a depth marking in the material.

Laser Ablation / Polishing Marking
Partial removal of a thin layer from the surface of the material, which allows for contrasting marking on a dark surface. Surface treatment and cleaning: Removal of paint, coating, dust, and rust to clean surfaces. With the right settings and the right choice of laser technology, marking can be achieved by ablation. A high-speed movement coupled with moderate power is generally used to accurately remove the top surface of the material. The surface to be removed will absorb the laser energy and then vaporize to reveal the surface of the material.
Characteristics of the laser ablation process
Ablative marking has several advantages as it does not penetrate the material. There is little heat applied to the material and also, the surface cleaning process is non-contact, environmentally friendly, accurate, and fast.


See our steel laser engravers!

Steel marking with dot peen engraving machine

Micro-impact marking and scribing are perfect for the identification of all metal parts. They offer permanent and legible marking regardless of the characteristics of the steel, the surface state, dusty or not, oily at the end of machining, cold or hot, or thin or thick.

The Dot peen & scribing process has the advantage of not creating any breaking points in the material, whatever the thickness of the marked part. There is no material removal, oxidation, or corrosion.

Dot peen engraving machines allow very deep markings to be made. It resists the surface treatments that will be applied after marking (painting, galvanization, etc.) and therefore maintains the legibility of the marking.

Steel engraving with rotary technology

Steel milling requirements are used on high-frequency spindles with strong torque and a very sturdy holding tool (collet spindle) to avoid vibrations. Moreover, this application needs tools dedicated to the hardness of steel with a specific sharpening (Percut range for drilling, Twincut range for engraving).

Milling steel creates chips that need to be removed. As steel milling requires lubrication, it is impossible to install a standard chip collector that removes the chips directly. Chips removal can also be carried out by the lubrication system with soluble oil that carries the chips and dust to gather them in a tray. Gravotech offers this accessory.

Rotary technology can reach practically any depth, you can make several passes to remove a few layers of material.

Discover Gravotech steel engraving machines

Our complete range of steel laser engraver will enable you to carry out marking on all types of steel parts, for a permanent result, with excellent quality and contrast.

Gravotech’s Dot Peen marking machine and scribing solutions offer non-contrasted, visible, and deep marking that is obtained by making close impacts on the surface of several types of steel. Rotary is a good solution for a neat deep engraving and can do light milling or drilling.

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