Laser engraving and laser annealing, what is the difference?

Laser engraving and laser annealing are common processing methods for laser engraving machines on metal materials. But the two are different in many ways. Next, I will briefly introduce the principles of these two machining processes and differences between them.

Laser engraving

Laser engraving refers to the material processing technology based on numerical control technology and laser as the processing medium. The processed material undergoes physical or chemical changes under laser irradiation. Laser engraving technology is to use laser technology to engrave marks on the surface of materials. This mark can be text or graphics. The surface of the material produced by laser engraving has no nicks. It still looks flat and smooth, and the markings will not wear off.

Laser annealing

With the development of integrated circuits, the requirements for the damaged area, the recovery degree of electrical parameters and the activation rate of implanted ions are getting higher and higher. Over the years, people have conducted a lot of research and improvement on annealing methods, and laser annealing technology has emerged as the times require. Therefore, the laser annealing process was mainly used to repair semiconductor materials in the early days, and was gradually applied to material processing later. Laser annealing mainly uses high-energy, high-density laser beams to irradiate the surface of the material, so that the temperature of the irradiated area suddenly rises to achieve the annealing effect. The situation of laser annealing is related to the energy density of the laser beam, the absorption coefficient of the material, the thermal conductivity coefficient, and the thickness of the injection layer.

What is the difference between them?

  • When laser engraving uses high-power laser, the processing speed is very fast. In contrast, the laser annealing process takes longer and is slower than laser engraving.
  • The mark produced by laser engraving has good legibility, and this mark is permanent and will not be easily worn out.
  • The metal materials processed by the two are different. Laser engraving is often used to process aluminum or other metals. Laser annealing is commonly used to process stainless steel, carbon steel, chrome, titanium, or other ferrous metals.
  • Laser engraving creates gaps in the material that reflect the laser beam in all directions to form the mark. Laser annealing does not create any crevices, and the surface of the annealed material is very flat, which helps prevent rust and oxidation.
  • Laser engraving evaporates a thin layer of the surface of the material. Laser annealing, on the other hand, mainly heats the material and does not melt any material. The underside of the metal surface is heated, and depending on the processing temperature, different colors can be obtained.
  • The fields of application are different. Engraving is often used in handicrafts, traceability systems in automobile manufacturing, and identification symbols for medical device manufacturers. Laser annealing is commonly used to make surgical equipment, trays, molds, stents, tubing and other product manufacturing. The service life of the product after laser annealing is longer.


Both laser engraving and laser annealing are methods of laser processing materials, but they are different in processing principles, processing materials, processing time, processing effects, and application fields. Laser engraving will melt the surface of the material and cause physical changes on the surface of the material, while laser annealing will not cause physical changes to the material, and the surface of the material after laser annealing is still flat and smooth.

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