The unique properties of ultrashort laser pulses and the decrease of invest pave the way to numerous novel applications. Even in the very price sensitive field of laser marking, ultrashort laser can compete due to a new cost structure and remarkable properties of the marking results. In this study we concentrated on industrial marking of medical equipment by using IR ultrashort lasers and compared the results with common marking laser systems. We demonstrate the benefits of ultrashort lasers marking on chirurgical devices, observing the influence of pulse energy, pulse duration, scanning velocity in respect to the visibility, corrosion resistance and long term durability under clinical conditions. Nowadays many parts and products are marked for the purpose of identification and traceability. One kind of laser marking is the well known annealing of stainless steel by nanosecond marking lasers. When annealing occurs a colored oxide layer grows due to the local heating of the material surface. Compared to the raw material, the annealed marking shows increased corrosion sensitivity. Regarding the traceability, the poor durability of the ns marking resulting in contrast reduction and the corrosion susceptibility are a huge problem. Therefore three different laser sources with ns-psfs pulse duration were observed. The focus rests on the realization of parameter studies (various lasers) and their effect on the corrosion and passivation behavior. Furthermore analysis of the oxide layers by use of EDX and XRD were performed to obtain further information on the composition and structure of the markings.
Christoph Neugebauer, Dennis Aalderink, Erich Maurer, Birgit Faisst, and Aleksander Budnicki, "Ultrafast lasers for precise and corrosion free marking on chirurgical steels," Proc. SPIE 10092, Laser-based Micro- and Nanoprocessing XI, 1009204 (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 31, 2017; Published: 17 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252029.
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