View Full Version : Cermark Application

Brie -Anne Bryan
10-15-2010, 3:09 PM
Hi Everyone! I am lasering some stainless flashlights today. They are laser engraveable but the customer wants the imprint to be black, so I have been experimenting with Cermark. I have to laser throught them first, apply the cermark and then laser again...but I was still having trouble getting the mark to be a solid black...so I decided to go against all logic and apply a really heavy layer instead of thin. I know everyone always says that less is more when it comes to Cermark, but now that I have been applying a really heavy layer, they are turning out nice and black. Just curious if anyone has ever had this experience with Cermark before.

Mike Null
10-15-2010, 3:46 PM

Welcome to SMC.

Why is it necessary to engrave them before applying Cermark?

I have never had success using thickly applied Cermark.

Is it possible that these are anodized aluminum?

Brie -Anne Bryan
10-15-2010, 4:03 PM
Thanks for your response, Mike. I have to laser through them first because I think there is some sort of coating on them. When I tried Cermark alone it did not stick at all. Upon further inspection, I think you might be right about them being aluminum instead of stainless. They look stainless, but I can't find a mark on them anywhere. How would them being aluminum affect the mark?

Mike Null
10-15-2010, 5:09 PM
Most ss flashlights are made of a higher carbon steel which will be magnetic. If a magnet will attach to the light it'll be ss otherwise it's probably anodized and the coating is likely the color. for example, if it's red and when you engrave it it becomes a whitish color or aluminum color then it's anodized aluminum. If you must apply cermark you'll need to do what you're doing but be sure to get to the bare metal. I still think a light coat of cermark is better but the important thing is to use high power, 600 to 1000 dpi and a slow speed.

There should be some settings you can use for a guide in your manual.

Dan Hintz
10-16-2010, 8:21 PM

Have you tested the durability of your thick mark? I'm willing to bet it doesn't have the durability you think it does (or should have with a thinner coat).

Brie -Anne Bryan
10-18-2010, 1:50 PM
Hi Dan,
I scrubbed it pretty hard and the black seems to be staying. I always apply with a paint brush because I do not have a working airbrush...but I always seem to find that a bit heavier than too little is better. I can never seem to get cermark to turn out great with just a thin layer.:confused:

Dan Hintz
10-18-2010, 2:11 PM
What did you test scrub with?

Brie -Anne Bryan
10-18-2010, 3:25 PM
just a cloth and water

Mike Null
10-18-2010, 4:00 PM
It is necessary to scrub really hard to determine whether it'll stay.

Dan Hintz
10-18-2010, 4:12 PM
Depends upon the expected use... if something is handled infrequently or won't see abuse, a rub with a rough cloth is adequate, but it doesn't guarantee a good mark. A few rubs with some steel wool is a better test. It's interesting to see a good mark go through a heat test on a cherry-red turbo housing and come out the other side unharmed...