Munich, Germany—Marking and engraving glass was one of the most visible laser applications at this year's Munich Laser Fair with a half dozen companies showing a variety of attractively processed parts. Among the best was a sealed bottle of Kentucky whiskey, complete with an elaborate company logo marked within the glass.
As shown in the photo, the logo was created from a simple CAD/CAM file using a state-of-the-art, all-solid-state UV (355 nm) laser from Spectra Physics (Mountain View, CA). This laser marks by a cold process with no damage to the inner or outer bottle surfaces and with no effect on the nature or quality of the bottle contents (a most important advantage). The ultraviolet laser also provides the potential to mark glass with much higher spatial resolution than with an infrared laser.
It's not just whiskey bottle marking that attracts users. Dr. Gerd Esser of the Bavarian Laser Center (Erlangen, Germany), in whose booth the bottle was displayed, remarked, "One example is in flat-panel displays where it's important to mark the panels and parts with serial numbers. Surface marking or engraving is very desirable in that application because of the risk of fracture or contamination."
Dr Wolfgang Johan of Spectra Physics adds that, "The key to supporting new applications is system integrators like the Bavarian Laser Center who understand laser interaction with materials and can combine all the technologies necessary to produce turnkey systems."
To learn more about Spectra Physics, access its website www.spectra-.physics.com.