laser engraving overview
Cerakote Laser Imaging is a process that produces varying color tones from a single color of Cerakote. This process does not etch, ablate, or remove the coating to reveal an additional color layer or expose the substrate underneath. This effect makes it possible to create patterns on the Cerakoted part, leaving the protection of Cerakote intact.
The following guidelines describe how to create a test matrix on a fiber laser for Cerakote Laser Imaging. Each laser make, model, wattage, etc. will require different settings to create the desired imaging effect. This procedure is one way to get started with Laser Imaging on your own laser.
Every color of Cerakote reacts differently to the Imaging process. A recommended color list has been provided at the end of this page.
A 20-60 watt fiber laser is recommended for the Cerakote Laser Imaging process.
The preferred testing method that will be outlined in this guide is what will be referred to as the “Square Test”. The basis of the Square Test method is to create a power to frequency grid (Figure 1).
Cerakoted panels (3” x 6”) are recommended as a test medium. The test is laid out with varying frequencies and power levels. Each time the test is ran, a different pulse width, linespacing, or speed can be used. Changing these variables will allow the user to find the appropriate settings for their machine. Analyze the results and repeat until the desired outcome is achieved.
Generally, working with short pulse widths, high frequencies and faster speeds will yield better results.