Stainless steel is one of the most widely used metals in many industries. Due to its anti-corrosive properties, stainless steel has become indispensable in the composition of parts for the medical, tooling, aeronautics, automotive, consumer goods, cutlery, jewelry, signage etc.
In addition to its corrosion resistance, stainless steel is also resistant to acid attack and withstands most cleaning and sterilisation treatments. It is a bright, durable and versatile material. Stainless steel engraving is a process that represents a high added value for identification and traceability but also personalization applications.
Several marking methods are possible and Gravotech offers fast and efficient systems, preserving the structure of your parts and products:
Our laser engraver for stainless steel range offers highly corrosion-resistant surface thermal marking, deep and high-contrast engravings without stress or material deformation.
Integrated laser system to mark and engrave on all metals.
Medium fully automated laser marking station.
Small laser engraver for all kind of engravings.
Integrated laser system for high quality marking on plastics and metals.
Integrated laser system for high quality and cold marking on plastics and precious metals.
Dot peen marking machine and scribing solution provide fast, accurate, aesthetic and deep markings for all your industrial applications. CNC engraving machines offer precise and attractive engraving across a range of markets working with stainless steel.
The quiet metal scribing marking machine.
The most precise and consistent electromagnetic dot peen marking machine.
The fastest pneumatic dot peen marking machine.
Standalone dot peen marking station.
Large and extra large format CNC engraving machines.
The VIN scribing marking machine.
Deep and permanent dot peen marking system.
Black marking process heats the material locally to just below its melting point. This generates oxide layers on the surface of the workpiece which are associated with metallic annealing colours. It is also the preferred method whenever a precision fit is required or there is a need to avoid material bulging. You can only anneal metals that change colour when under the influence of heat and oxygen, i.e. steels and titanium, but not aluminium or non-ferrous metals.
Generally, the oxide layer is black, but it can also have other annealing colours. Black marking is a marking process that produces very high-contrast, dark markings. This structured surface reduces the amount of light that is reflected, and the result is a deep, matt blackening of the marking, which appears the same when viewed from any angle. This makes the marking non-abrasive.
A very common method in the industry for marking stainless steel is engraving. Engraving provides a much deeper marking than any other method and makes the marking more legible and durable, both before and after treatment of the material, e.g. galvanisation, which requires a greater depth of marking. The marking is thus more resistant in difficult environments and will meet the requirements of several manufacturers and traceability standards. In order to obtain a deep and high-contrast marking, the laser’s parameterisation is essential. Stainless steel laser engraving is generally carried out with increased laser power and lower marking speeds and several passes. Multiples passes of the laser beam will remove more material and produce cleaner engraving and edges. The larger number of laser passes allows for deeper marking.
See our stainless steel laser engravers.
The principle of dot peen marking machine is based on the creation of depressions in the material using a vibrating tool. This creates a series of dots that form a direct, permanent, legible, high-quality marking on the workpiece. With the dot peen marking technology, you don’t have to worry about adapting to the material, the marking results are constant, regardless of the type of steel or its hardness.
Dot peen technology offers high-quality marking, legible and permanent to resist erasure, discolouration, corrosion and all types of treatments. Dot peen marking is one of the most versatile technologies because it is possible to mark very fine markings but also to make deep markings according to your requirements. Moreover, this technology does not heat the material and does not create any breaking point in the material, whatever its thickness. The initial cost and operating cost are lower with this technology. Dot peen technology enables stainless steel parts that are generally subject to high stress (specifically in the automotive and aviation industries) to have heat and high-temperature resistant markings.
Pneumatic dot peen
Our dot peen marking machine are the best for marking applications requiring a very short cycle time to meet the speed requirements of industrial sectors. The wide range of stylus available allows fine, wide, surface or deep marking and adapts to irregular surfaces thanks to the 3D stylus which allows marking on complex parts with irregular shapes.
Electromagnetic dot peen
More suitable for applications needing great precision and consistency. It is particularly efficient for Datamatrix code marking. The electromagnetic dot peen technology is a high-precision marking solution to meet traceability and identification requirements. Thanks to its panel of electromagnetic styluses, it is possible to carry out all types of fine surface or deep marking.
The scribing machine uses a carbide or diamond tip to apply permanent marking directly to the stainless steel (up to 62HRC). Unlike dot peen, the tip doesn’t vibrate but slides along the surface require; marking and tracing a continuous homogenous line. The result is very clear and aesthetic. This process has the advantage of being very quiet so it is particularly used for marking hollow parts with high resonance, tubes, sheets and for engraving nameplates for example. Scribing marking technology offer the best marking/speed depth ratio and high-quality marking to meet identification and traceability needs
The material is removed using cutting tools, “engraving cutters” of various sizes and shapes. Engraving by rotary machine has excellent adaptability to any type of stainless steel, even painted, and the possibilities are consequent, even the smallest and thinnest characters and logos can be engraved to create a durable and artistic engraving.
This technology also brings out the brilliance of the stainless steel and the engraving aspect looks natural. Moreover, the constant and strong engraving depth ensures a sustainable result and allows to put lacquer or paint afterwards to add colour to your creation. It is very popular in the jewellery, mechanical workshops and ID plates sectors.
Stainless steel hardness requires a collet spindle (including a High-Frequency spindle) to hold the cutting tool firmly. The tools to process stainless steel have a specific sharpening: Percut range for drilling, Twincut range for engraving. When milling stainless steel, a lubricant system and product adapted to stainless steel is necessary (part of the Gravotech range) to evacuate chips and increase cutting tool lifetime.