When someone looks at pages like Boss Lasers’ Facebook, they will find several impressive projects that were made using a laser engraver. One material this machine can engrave on that many people do not realize is brass. However, for those who want to engrave on brass, there are a few things to know first. Keep reading to learn what these things are.
Types of Brass to Use
It is not always possible to laser engrave uncoated brass. However, coated or painted brass is an exception to this rule. The laser beam used will eliminate the coating, which will expose the underlying brass material.
The most common brass material that is engraved on using a laser is brass coated steel. The entire laser engraving process, when working with brass coated in steel, will remove the paint, which exposes the brass that was protected by the layer of lacquer.
The job of the lacquer is to help keep the brass from undergoing oxidation, which helps to ensure the surface remains bright and new looking for several years. If someone is not sure if the brass they have is coated in steel, they can use a magnet to test it. Remember, brass is not a magnetic metal; however, if it has been coated in steel, the magnet will stick, thanks to the steel.
Engraving on Brass
To get the best results, it is a good idea to set the laser engraver to a higher speed and a lower power when trying to engrave on painted brass. This is because removing this layer of paint requires minimal power. If too much power is used, the paint is going to melt, which can cause the image to look distorted. If the engraver notices a “fat” appearance to the image when engraving on brass, it is a sign that too much power is being used. Just turn it down slighting, and sharp images will be produced. Setting the brass palate on the engraving table and then increasing the table’s height by approximately 0.20 inches can help increase the spot size, which will provide a smoother feel and look.
Laser Pens and Laser Engraving
Brass pens are commonly engraved using a laser; however, before getting excited about this, be sure there is no hard epoxy paint present on them. Hard epoxy paint is not going to work well with CO2 laser engraving. This is because the engraving is going to create a brown color that looks like a tarnished finish. To make sure this does not happen, it is a good idea to purchase brass pens that are specially made to be used with a laser engraver.
If someone needs to engrave on bare bras, there is a hack that can help. The key is to move forward with the laser engraving, even though it does not appear on the brass plate. After the engraving is done, apply a specialty oxidizing agent, which will produce a black image of the chosen engraved vector.