Technology Development of Laser Marking to Improve the Traceability of Brake Friction Materials 2010-01-1670
The laser marking technology is used in several industrial segments, to create a discrete, indelible, ecological, and low-cost identification in order to improve products traceability.
The traceability can help to solve certain problems in the brake pads and linings industry. Problems such as piracy, marketing failures, product lifecycle control, recalls actions and quality product failure. Traceability can also support on judicial complications when the product failure historical is required.
Conventional identification and marking process applied to the friction materials industry produce easily removable markings. Such markings cannot contain individual identification, such as code for each part, serial number or a bar code containing the necessary information for traceability.
In addition, for commercial vehicles brake linings, the identification of the product brand does not remain after use, making it difficult to know whose manufacturer which produced it. In this situation, laser marking remain visible throughout the life of the product. This application can be considered as a commercial strategy when customers intend a new acquisition of the same brake lining brand of the vehicle.
Being an heterogeneous composite material with more than ten components, the friction material presents difficulties to be marked even with the laser marking process because each material reacts differently for each combination of laser parameters.
The present study aims to define the parameters for the laser marking process, testing a range of combinations for laser variables: frequency, scanning velocity, power, laps and track width to evaluate the friction material response to the marking process.
Three parameter groups, containing alterations in every variable, were created. Each group, identified as A, B and C were established in the laser and tested in the friction materials. The marking quality was evaluated based on visible quality, component readability and total time necessary for the marking.
After tests, successful laser markings were obtained, testifying the viability of this technology, creating new opportunities for marketing, control and traceability of the friction materials industry.