View Full Version : stainless steel marking

james burchfield
11-23-2011, 1:45 PM
I was asked about engraving stainless steel tag outs for a machine company so im looking into ways to do it. I have found the Cermark tape and spray. Are there any other products out there that would work and maybe cheaper?

Bruce Volden
11-23-2011, 1:51 PM
There have been a couple of threads where members have made a "home brew" with some success.

I'm thinking that even though cermark is "expensive", a little bit goes a loooong way!! Plus, it is a proven fact it works-especially for SS. I purchased a couple of tubs several years back (before the name change) and am still using from them.


Joe Hillmann
11-23-2011, 1:54 PM
How big are the tags and how many?

Gary Hair
11-23-2011, 2:44 PM
Are there any other products out there that would work and maybe cheaper?

Given the amount that is needed to make a good mark on stainless, you won't find anything cheaper than Cermark. I paid about $140 (or so) for a 250g tub and it's about 1/3rd gone and I have done at least $5,000 in marking with it. Dilute it to about 10:1 with denatured alcohol and spray it on so thin that you don't think it could possibly work - it works! Don't bother with tape or spray cans, they are a huge waste of money compared to bulk.


Martin Boekers
11-23-2011, 4:10 PM
Are you planning to do many? If not ask Cermark for a sample, that way you may be come a future customer
as it gives you a chance to see how it works. I don't use it but it does come in tape or spray can form also.
I have seen those that use it actually recycle the extra powder from from the pieces they mark. There is a rep here
that moniters this forum.


Rich Harman
11-23-2011, 5:00 PM
Have you tried marking SS directly?

Michael Kowalczyk
11-23-2011, 6:50 PM
We mark SS often and the spray cans are a HUGE waste of money if you are doing 100's to 1000's of pieces. massive over spray. Buy a nice dual action airbrush like this one:
and like the above poster said get the 250 gram paste and dilute with DNA (not yours the kind you buy at a store:D). I have done well over 2000 pieces and still have more than half left. The first 1000 cost me 4 cans of spray. Do the math:rolleyes:.

small job - can OK
If you plan on doing anything else or a repeat, get the airbrush and the 250 g.

Rodne Gold
11-24-2011, 2:08 AM
You can re use the cermark that comes off the piece after lasering , we brush it off with toothbrushes into a container , we even use the cermark in the water from the first dribble wash.
I also use a paasche to spray and spray in a small acrylic booth we made , scrape off and reuse the overspray... If you conserve like we do , the cost of cermark for each engraving is real cheap.
Only thing I dont like is that sometimes the metal gets stained if you leave the cermark on too long.

Bill Cunningham
11-24-2011, 11:18 PM
Yup! Scavange as much as you can.. I bought a spray can 8 years ago, have done thousands of $ work of work, and I still have lots left.. Like Rodney, I scrape down the sides of a small acrylic spray booth, and clean the can nozzle upside down into a shot glass, then swirl a little Alcohol in the glass and collect the scrapings in a sealed jar with alcohol, then shake it up real good before putting it on with soft brush, or airbrush I use the soft brush for small jobs, and the airbrush for larger jobs. If I need more liquid cermark, I pull out the spray can again, and start the cycle all over... I've probably got enough left for years of work yet..
Cermark is probably the cheapest material you will ever use in your business..

Mike Null
11-25-2011, 9:42 AM
I echo what others have said--used properly, Cermark is really cheap. For most of my work I use a single action sprayer but on jobs where overspray and cleanup is a problem I use a sponge brush and it not only works well but is very economical. (I have an ongoing job of marking a logo on the handle of pan lids. Spraying would cause waste and extensive cleanup while the sponge is faster, cleaner and cheaper)

Richard Rumancik
11-25-2011, 9:20 PM
I have tried to reuse some Cermark overspray and did not have the success as others have reported. I find that it is quite difficult to get the material to go back into solution after it has dried. I suppose that if you had enough material it might be worthwhile to come up with a way to reconstitute it (maybe a mortar and pestle?), but I found it to be a waste of time. If there is even a very small particle of undissolved Cermark it will plug the airbrush. Even after leaving it in alcohol for days it did not seem to dissolve without mechanical assistance. The hassle did not seem worth it to me for what I would save.

None of the home-brew methods as far as I know can really compete with Cermark. If you don't mind running really slow some of these techniques seem to be able to make a permanent mark. I would suggest buying a small container of Cermark for $25 and see what it will do for you.

Dee Gallo
11-25-2011, 9:39 PM
I also use a single action airbrush for Cermark...they clog a lot less than double action with heavy solutions and are easier to clean. As far as the chunks that will clog your airbrush, it is best to screen your paint to avoid problems. I have a small piece of sheetrock sanding screen that works just fine.

There is nothing that works as well as Cermark for me, it delivers every time. "Reliable" is very important in our business.

cheers, dee