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Curt Heggemeyer
10-18-2010, 10:46 PM
Hello,
I have got a question about using cermark on aluminum, shoould laser engrave really well but I have having all kinds of troubles here.
This is what is going on.
I got these batons from my customer who biught them from who knows where but the boxs say India or Ethopia, I tried to laser engrave one but it looked as if it had a clear finish on it. So they took them back and cleaned them with Acetone to get down to the metal. Brought them back and I started the process again, sprayed the newer Cermark stuff for shiny metals on with a airbrush to get a nice light coat on the baton. I laser them at 100% power (60 watt laser) and 350 mm/sec travel time. The first 50 came out nice with a nice gray to light black finish, none came out black like they should have, but customer likes them, on to the next box, this box sprayed the same way etc now lasers nice and dark right out of the laser but when I wash off the extra Cermark the dark lasered lettering washes off to or is very streaky... since I have 400 more of these to do I really need to figure out what is going on because I had sprayed and lasered almost 50 more of them and now have to either sand blast them remove the lasered Cermark and redo or find a way to salvage what I have done.

Now the question is could it be the metal isnt aluminum but a cheap mix of metals? How would you prep the material if they have been cleaned with Acetone already and still having troubles?

What else could be the problem?

Thanks for any help in this area..

Curt

Dan Hintz
10-19-2010, 7:54 AM
I assume you're talking about cheerleading batons? If so, they're usually chrome-plated steel, not aluminum. Chrome can be very touchy, especially crappy, non-quality-controlled chrome.

Mike Null
10-19-2010, 10:01 AM
Curt

I would not use Cermark on a surface that had been clear coated. I am not satisfied that all the coating can be removed making it impossible to get a good result with Cermark.

You indicate that you have a sandblaster. Can you make masks (resists) and blast these items then oxidize them?

Curt Heggemeyer
10-19-2010, 1:00 PM
They are actually the batons you use in track, about a ft long.
I dont have a blaster in house, may have to go to a freinds place and use his.
They wanted the lasered look and would be faster than oxiding them. Or I thought.

I am thinking this is some cheap made aluminum if is is aluminum at all?
It came from India so who knows what kind of quality it is?

Can I even mark material if it is some type of alloy? Is there a trick I can try to get it to work?
Or is this a lost cause?

Thanks for the help.



Curt

I would not use Cermark on a surface that had been clear coated. I am not satisfied that all the coating can be removed making it impossible to get a good result with Cermark.

You indicate that you have a sandblaster. Can you make masks (resists) and blast these items then oxidize them?