Awards & Engraving

September '16

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18 • A&E SEPTEMBER 2016 LASER ENGRAVING APPLICATIONS by Richard Korbyl The same is true today. Drive down any residential or commercial street and you will see buildings made using bricks. You can also see walkways and streets covered with them. But what does that have to do with laser engraving? A growing trend for laser engravers is the demand to have these bricks engraved. This type of engraving activity is usually partnered with some form of fundraising campaign for a client. Numerous orga- nizations, service clubs, churches and charities sell these brick products to their donors as a way of raising capital. Often, these engraved bricks are installed in high- traffic areas open to the public. AN IMPORTANT DISTINCTION Before we get too far discussing laser marking bricks, a distinction needs to be made. While the common term for this building product is "brick", the proper terminology is actually "paver". A paver is similar to a brick but is often heavier and made to withstand more abuse. Bricks are usually intended to be placed on the sides of buildings whereas pavers are intended to be used on walkways or streets. As you can imagine, pavers intended for this usage receive a fair amount of contact and abrasion. There are two types of pavers that laser engravers are likely going to encounter. The first is a concrete-based paver com- posed of a concrete aggregate. Customers who want particular colors or styles will often bring in their own concrete pavers for you to engrave. My suggestion to any engraver who accepts outside pavers is to advise your client that the size of the aggregate found within the paver can cause some chal- lenges. When sandcarving, a small pebble situated in the wrong place could be the difference between crisp graphics and graphics that appear chipped. O ne of the oldest building products used by people are bricks. Because of their durability and strength, bricks have been used for everything from housing structures to historical landmarks and famous walkways. Etched in Stone ENGRAVING ON PAVERS "Blow-outs" are always a concern when sandcarving. This concern is heightened when sandcarving a porous surface like concrete pavers. Using additional adhesive or warming up the paver can help promote the adhesion of the mask. IMAGE COURTESY RICHARD KORBYL

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