Fiber lasers are optimally suited for metal marking by way of annealing, for metal engraving, and for high-contrast plastic markings. Fiber lasers are generally maintenance-free and feature a long service life of at least 25,000 laser hours.
A special type of fiber laser is the MOPA laser, where pulse durations are adjustable. This makes the MOPA laser one of the most flexible lasers which can be used for many applications.
Suited for the following materials: Metals, coated metals, plastics
Nd:YAG, Nd:YVO (crystal lasers)
Like fiber lasers, crystal lasers belong to the solid-state lasers. Nowadays, lasers for marking applications are pumped by diodes (in the past by flash lamps). The most common laser types in this category are Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet) and Nd:YVO (neodymium-doped yttrium ortho-vanadate), named after the doping element neodymium and the carrier crystal. With 1.064 micrometers, crystal lasers have the same wavelength as fiber lasers and are thus also suited for marking metals and plastics.
Unlike fiber lasers, these laser types include the relatively expensive pump diodes, which are wearing parts. They must be replaced after approx. 8,000 to max. 15,000 laser hours. The crystal itself also has a shorter service life than a fiber laser.
Suited for the following materials: Metals, coated metals, plastics, to some extent also for ceramic