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Brie -Anne Bryan
06-08-2011, 4:17 PM
Hi all!

I have job for 48 flutes that requires a blue imprint. My company does not do imprinting or decaling and we don't want to sub it out locally so my boss got me a bottle of blue thermark to mess with and try to figure it out. I am wondering if it is me, or if anyone can get a satisfactory result with this stuff. I have the sprayer and am applying it that way....as lightly and as evenly as I can. I have experimented with power and speed....even focus....but nothing looks really great. Sometimes i can get it to look pretty good in the laser, but when I wash the excess off the blue starts to chip off with it. The best result seems to be at 400 dpi/100 power/15 speed....slightly out of focus....but it still isn't anywhere near what I need it to be.
Any ideas?

Thanks:)

Martin Boekers
06-08-2011, 4:36 PM
Many flutes are silver plated, not sure how well it works on silver.

Check this post out as it brings up issues of Cermark(ing)
Items that get cleaned alot.
www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?165016-Cermark-on-Sterling-Silver (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?165016-Cermark-on-Sterling-Silver)

Marty

Brie -Anne Bryan
06-08-2011, 4:39 PM
Hi Martin, I haven't actually tried the flutes yet, I'm just experimenting with scrap glass

Neil Pabia
06-08-2011, 4:44 PM
Are you refering to champagne flutes or musical flutes?

Brie -Anne Bryan
06-08-2011, 4:48 PM
Hi Neil....Champagne flutes.

Martin Boekers
06-08-2011, 5:14 PM
Opps, when talked Cermark I automatically thought metal, then musical flutes.
A while back I picked up some Sharpie Oil Pens. They worked well on glass!
I wanted to play around with masking, but didn't have a chance.

Maybe some Oil Based paint with a mask might be something to try?

Brie -Anne Bryan
06-08-2011, 5:38 PM
Hi Martin. I thought about that....but then we're getting into the whole colorfill thing...which takes extra time to peel off etc...and they have to be able to clean.

Rodne Gold
06-08-2011, 5:49 PM
You can laser engrave the glass using your rotary and fill with rub n buff or a blue coloured equivalent , you get a nice metallic blue. will withstand cleaning.

Martin Boekers
06-08-2011, 5:58 PM
Hi Martin. I thought about that....but then we're getting into the whole colorfill thing...which takes extra time to peel off etc...and they have to be able to clean.

I tried Cermark for glass as we do quite a bit of framing, clients like the engraving bet wanted more contrast. Never could get
cermark to work.

It's sort of a trade off between masking and filling or airbrushing Cermark and hoping for consistancy between the glasses.
I use Rub n Buff (like Rodne suggested) for marble all the time, it works MUCH better than anything Acrylic and the etch
doesnt have to go as deep.

I wish you luck!

Steve Rozwood
06-09-2011, 9:46 AM
Hi Brie-Anne,

Working with LMC-6013P ceramic and glass marking material is a little tricky at first because it doesnít work the same as our metal marking material, LMM-6000. The coverage of the material, power and speeds are dramatically different.

Letís start with the coverage:
Unlike LMM-6000, the LMC series is applied much thicker, the dry film weight is roughly around 2 - 3 mills thick. I understand that it's difficult to tell the actual amount of material being applied but I have a solution. Spray the material on and hold it up to a light source, if you can see the light passing through the glass then it's not applied thick enough. Keep spraying the material until the material just blocks out the light. This may seem hard to reproduce but after a little practice, you will find your film weight will almost match the previous one. Trust me, I was skeptical at first but after doing a weight and film thickness study we found that you can almost repeat the amount being applied from the previous coating.

Now letís talk about Power and Speed:

Glass is a much more fragile material and blasting away with it the same way as you would for making marks on metal will result in some very upset customers. Plus, glass is absorbed by the CO2 wave length, so even without using our LMC series marking material, you can etch the glass using your laser. So this means that youíre going to have to ease the heat of your laser in to try to get the LMC material to bond to the glass without causing too much glass damage on to the surface. Since your laser has the option of varying the speed, wattage, hatching and focus, there are too many variables to just pick something and run with it. The best way we found how to pin point the correct variable and get your most permanent mark, with the most color development, is to create some sort of test grid that shows you the varying hatching (DPI), power and speeds. Here is an example that we use:

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The power is indicated on the left hand side and the variable speeds are below the grid. Each one of the squares have the corresponding power and speeds connected to it. If your laser is a 35 watt or higher, then you are going to want to start your grid at maximum 50 power and work your way down to 5 power. When you're done lasering the grid, wash off the excess material and then scrub the glass lightly. You should now have a pretty good representation of where your laser is giving you the best color development at that film thickness. I have even found that taking it slightly out of focus and making another grid, this time a smaller one, I even get better results.

I hope this doesn't seem like too much work, if you have any questions please feel free to get a hold of me.

Have a great day!
- Steve

Brie -Anne Bryan
06-09-2011, 11:32 AM
Hi Steve.
Thanks for your advice....I will try your suggestions in the next day or two and let you know how things go. From what you describe, I definitely think my power is way too high. I will bring my camera tomorrow and try to post a pic as well.

Thanks for all your help!

Dee Gallo
06-09-2011, 11:56 PM
Great explanation, Steve, thanks! I have only tried ceramic, not glass with Cermark, so your directions will come in handy when I do. Are you saying that a lower watt laser is better for this material combination than a high powered laser?

cheers, dee

Steve Rozwood
06-10-2011, 10:11 AM
Thanks Dee! I believe that its the combination of the writing speeds and the wattage of a laser. It seems that the lower wattage lasers have a slower writing speed and the slower writing speeds and lower powers seem to develop the best results. This means if your higher power, 75 watt laser is running at 100 inches per second, you will have to dramticly reduce the power and speeds to get better color development. With this reduction, depending on your lasers software of course, you may not be able to get the laser slow enough to see a range of colors to choose from. Where as a lower power, 35 watt laser with a writing speed of 50 inches per second you won't have to drop speeds too dramticly and you may have more of a range of colors to choose from. This (I think) is because color development is a matter of heat and time. (At least that's my theory :).

Talk to you soon!

Steve

Brie -Anne Bryan
06-10-2011, 1:42 PM
Hi Steve,

Thanks for all your help....I did a graph (sorry, no pic) and managed to get it to turn out really well!!!! It seems it works best on my 60watt laser at about 20-30 power and 5-10 speed. My only problem is that the jar that comes with the preval sprayer is so big that I don't have enough product in there to come through (even though I have product left)....which means I can't do my job! It should really come with a smaller container!

Thanks again for all your help:)