Awards & Engraving

March '16

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22 a-e-mag.com • A&E MARCH 2016 LASER ENGRAVING APPLICATIONS Laser Engraving Another product that can help the laser engraver improve the quality of laser engraving on glass is the 3M Scotch- Brite Clean and Finish Roll. Made by the same company who offers the Scotch-Pad household cleaning pads, the Scotch- Brite Clean and Finish Roll is intended for metal, wood, composite and other advanced materials. Schwartz, who was in the furniture business for 34 years, knew of this product and decided to try it out on glass. He says that it works well when removing the shards of glass due to laser engraving. "It is ultra fine and does not scratch (the glass)," says Schwartz. The product is commonly found at wood- craft or industrial supply companies and is readily available from amazon.com. Schwartz says the product comes in rolls, as well as 6-by-9-inch sheets costing about $20 for a box of 20 sheets. He adds that a box will "last forever." LASER AND SANDBLASTING There will be times where you may want to combine both laser engraving and sandblasting. You may want to offer a little depth for some dimension or per- haps you need to maintain some depth to accommodate paint-filling. Often, the laser operator will lay down a mask and then laser engrave the graphics through the mask. The next step is to tape off the glass piece followed by sandblasting. While you can use any kind of vinyl mask, be aware that many of these products are not laser friendly and contain PVC. Not only is PVC dangerous to the laser operator, but also the actual laser. There are a few sandblast masks that are laser friendly. IKONICS Imaging offers the Laser Tape, also known by laser users as the "green tape." This product contains aggressive adhesive, which adheres to the glass surface well. Because of the aggres- sive nature of the adhesive, the clean-up process can take a bit longer. The second laser-friendly mask avail- able from IKONICS is its newest offering, the Blazer Orange Laser Mask. It is sim- ilar to the green tape, but the adhesive is less aggressive and the cleaning stage is extremely fast. In our experience, due to the lower tack of the adhesive, the risk of a blowout is heightened. IKONICS offers multiple sizes to better accommodate your project's requirements. I think it's safe to say that when it comes to embellishing glass, sandcarving provides an elegant look. But by using some of the previously mentioned tips, you can produce crisp graphics using a laser engraver that look great and take minimal time to complete. After this, you may find out that your laser engraved cup is more than half full. Richard Korbyl manages the family business, Columbia Awards, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He has been involved with the awards industry for over 20 years. If you have any questions or comments, contact Richard at 1-780-438-3266 or rkorbyl@columbia- awards.com. JDS Industries offers the Glass Laser Tape, which minimizes the fracturing when laser engraving glass. Have a service or product to sell? For A&E Marketplace advertising inquiries, call 800.669.0424 A&E

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