Laser Engraving of Tires – individually, unique and permanent

Tire sidewalls bear a variety of logos, numbers and codes. A lot of this information is unalterable, which is why it is applied during the vulcanization process .

Serial number
Legal information

Some of the data is, however, alterable, such as production data, manufacturing plant, country registrations, or special marks for OEM customers. When completely retreading truck tires, individual historical tire data may be engraved on the new sidewalls.

In the past, stamps inserted in the mold were used to imprint such information on tire sidewalls. Every time the information changes, stamps in the mold have to be swapped accordingly.

Engraving of text
DOT week code

In addition to that, stamps actually have to be manufactured and distributed among the molds in use. In modern tire plants that produce up to 70,000 tires a day, this causes not only high costs but is also a potential source of errors.

Barcode label are used as a way to identify tires individually during the production process. But they often become unreadable within a short time or even fall off.

By contrast, laser marking is a fast, individual, visual appealing and permanent way of marking tires after production. For example serial numbers, DOT week codes, QR Codes and logos can be selected in the machine’s software and applied individually.

OE Markings
Tire Labels
Engraving on Tread Pattern

The laser marking process

The laser beam applies energy locally that vaporizes the tire rubber and leaves a crisp marking with soft edges in the sidewall. As such, the marking is recessed into the tire sidewall and therefore protected against ablation.

Gases and particles created during the engraving process are evacuated locally through the metal nozzle. Heat input to the surrounding tire body is neglectable. The tire is not affected and no post processing of the markings is required.

4JET has developed two system concepts for laser tire marking