Which is better for brick etching, sandblasting or laser engraving? Take a closer look at the history and process of sandblasting, then see for yourself how sandblasting compares with laser engraving. Both processes involve the use of a brick engraving machine, but as you’ll see, the difference in quality is dramatic!
Sandblasting was first patented in the late 1900s and has been used in many industries ever since. In this multi-step process, a stencil is created and applied to the brick. The brick is then placed in a chamber where an abrasive material is shot out of a high-powered machine to “blast” away portions of brick material. This creates a deep crevice that is later filled with a contrasting epoxy or paint to make the mark stand out against the brick’s surface.
The new sandblasted brick looks fine—at first. Initially, the design and lettering is distinct; the contrasting epoxy-filled mark stands out against the surface. However, the filler soon begins to deteriorate, often after just a season’s worth of exposure to the weather. Even when used in indoor installation, sandblasted brick does not age well. In time, exposure to the drying effects of a building’s heating and ventilation system degrade the filler material.
Sandblasted Engraving After One Year:
As you can see, that once beautiful sandblasted brick gradually loses its epoxy or paint filler. What’s left is only the deep groove, making the design unclear and the message difficult to read. Dirt gets embedded in the now exposed crevices that sandblasting has created. Just cleaning out the dirty brick crevices takes added labor, time, and expense. Meanwhile, the exposed lettering and design can become a hazard for people who wear high-heeled shoes or who use assistive walking devices. As all these disadvantages prove, sandblasting is not permanent, and is therefore unsuitable for your fundraiser.
Eliminate all of these issues. Choose laser engraving, the permanent brick and tile marking solution! Click here to view our brick durability standards.
Laser Engraving After Ten Years:
The difference is clear—bricks etched by laser are far more durable. Our laser engraved bricks are also safer than sandblasted bricks. By using our unique laser engraving technologies, we skillfully guide brick engraving machines through a process called Laser Vitrification. During this Vitrification, the laser directs an intensely hot beam onto the brick’s surface. This changes the composition of the clay into a dark, glass-like mark that stands out on the engraved brick or etched tile. So when customers explore all our creative options for adding clipart, artwork, custom graphics, logos, signatures, depictions and fonts to their custom engraved brick or tile, they can do so with confidence, knowing that their choices will endure.
Brick etching by laser lasts a lifetime. Choose laser engraving instead of sandblasting and you will be guaranteed a superior product. Contact us today at 1-855-BRICKS4U to speak to a member of our team. Let’s get started on a project that is sure to last.
Quality brick engraving combines art with science. Over the years, our expertise in both has produced the finest laser engraved bricks in the industry. We use our unique laser engraving processes, to create a deep and glossy mark that is permanent and maintenance free.
Not every company is as obsessed with quality as we are, however. Many still use non-laser etching methods like sandblasting and pantographing. On the pro side, such bricks can be turned out cheaply and quickly. On the con side, the difference in quality is significant. Our research shows that some older marking processes result in inferior products: bricks that are neither as durable nor, in the long run, as safe as those we create through our laser-based brick engraving.
Laser Engraving – The Power of Light
To better understand etching pros and cons, let’s look at the science. Sandblasting is just what it sounds like—a jet of sand is “blasted” against the surface of the brick by means of compressed air or steam. If that sounds a bit like erosion, you’re right—it’s essentially a controlled, amped-up form of erosion used to remove targeted areas of the brick. As you can imagine, that’s hardly the ideal way to create a durable product.
By contrast, our lasers use the power of light to achieve precise, artistic, and lasting effects. With pinpoint accuracy, the laser beam transforms the engraved areas of the brick into ceramic in a process known as laser vitrification. This brick engraving ensures that the inscription, ornamentation, or other visual features will permanently cohere with the surrounding brick material.
In other words, the markings don’t merely stick to the brick—they become part of it. No added paint, ink, or epoxy fillers are needed to achieve contrast. While sandblasting and other such brick etching can fade or even cause crumbling over time, bricks that have been laser engraved endure for a lifetime. Just check our rigorous standards of brick durability.
The Marks of True Quality Endure
Unlike sandblasting, laser vitrification does not produce pockmarks or cavities in bricks. Such cavities attract dirt and invite erosion due to the freeze-thaw cycle of some harsh climates. As sandblasted bricks deteriorate, they develop large gaps on the surface that can pose hazards, particularly for patrons who use assistive walking devices like canes or walkers.
On the other hand, the laser engraved brick is not affected by ultra-violet light, meaning that it’s completely resistant to fading in sunlight. Unlike poorly etched bricks that need delicate handling and protection from the elements, the laser-etched brick is virtually maintenance free. Simply wash away any dirt and debris to show off the clear, damage-free marking.
Find out even more about the superiority of our product. At Fundraising Brick, we work with an impressive array of fonts, logos, artwork, custom graphics, clip art, and visuals. Don’t let your desired message and images disappear with the sands of time. Call or contact us online and let’s create something beautiful that you can be proud of for decades to come.