View Full Version : Reclaiming Cermark - Black Stuff

R. A. Mitchell
11-17-2008, 5:02 PM
I'm getting ready to do a couple of fairly large jobs with cermark. I have tested and found good settings. My question for those folks who reclaim cermark is whether you need to worry about the burnt cermark mixing with the regular stuff in the reclamation process. My plan is to use as little water as possible over a shallow pan to rinse finished products. However, I noticed in my testing that the burnt stuff turns the mixture a much darker color than the fresh cermark.

Is this a cause for concern? Do I need to try to separate the un-lasered stuff from the lasered by the way I rinse the parts? Any noticeable difference in settings when using recycled product?



Frank Corker
11-17-2008, 5:16 PM
They say it reuseable, personally I would keep them seperate and use the reclaimed as and when it becomes desperate.

Rodne Gold
11-18-2008, 1:14 AM
We are doing 10 000 SS tags at the moment , we reclaim ALL used cerdec/whatever/metalmarking paste.
We spray with airbrushes in a enclosed pex box , scrape off all the overspray off the sides and reuse. We also brush off any unused paste off the metal plates with a toothbrush and reuse that. We even wash off after we toothbrushed the paste , into a small bowl of water and reclaim that.
No problems whatseoever.

R. A. Mitchell
11-18-2008, 11:09 AM
Thanks. I used the airbrush technique the first time and was very happy with how well it went on a chromed piece. I have to work on improving my efficiency with the product, but now that I have figured out how to apply it effectively, I really like using it.

Gary Hair
11-19-2008, 3:50 PM
but now that I have figured out how to apply it effectively, I really like using it.

That is the key to using Cermark, proper application. Between airbrushing on a very light coat and creating a power grid, I can tell you within a few minutes if I can use it on a particular substrate and also the optimal settings for my laser. Practice, practice, practice...


Phil Garcia
11-20-2008, 9:48 AM
Can anyone help, I have done a dozen Zippo lighters with the CerMark Spray LMM 6000. Six took the logo I lasered just fine and have held up to pocket ware. The other six faded right off the bat. Question: Should the spray be applied thin or thick and does repeating the run burn off the CerMark?? What settings for my 35 Watt Epilog would you recommend so that the logo's stay on?? and any other advise you may have... I sure would appreicate!!

R. A. Mitchell
11-20-2008, 10:04 AM
I have a paasch airbrush that I use with the air compressor that I normally hook to the laser for air assist. You can search this forum to see various dilution formulas for cermark and denatured alcohol. I eyeballed the mixture at about 50/50, and that sprayed on very well for me. I shoot for a thin opaque layer. My cermark paste has largely dried out - I'm still on my first 25g bottle from a Laserbits sample pack - but if you are careful, you can stretch this stuff out a long way.

I can't help you much with settings, although high power and slow burn is generally the way to go. The other thing is to make sure you wash off whatever you are engraving before applying the cermark. Denatured alcohol seems to do the trick for me.

If your lighters were chromed, search this forum for all of the warnings about cermark and chrome. Bottom line - cermark does a great job with high quality chrome, not so good with the cheap stuff.

Rodne Gold
11-20-2008, 2:46 PM
We also use a paasche , no 5 needle and use the gravity fed hopper rather than the bottle.
Also as thin as possible.
What we have found is this , overburning the mixture isnt good , I have had better results at fast engraving speeds , even with a 30w laser. Try get it to a point where you are going as fast as possible and still get a dense black and durable mark. I cannot see how re running a job can be good , the molybenum sulphide acts on metal like a glaze in pottery , so firing the item 2x can't really be effective (unless the first pass was grossly underpowered or perhaps overspeed.)
Basically , these compounds work best on Stainless steel , so we just turn away any other metals apart from nickle steel and titanium , we really have had lots of hassles with chrome so just give it a miss.
We also turn off air assist when lasering using metal marking stuff espcially shiny stuff , it tends to blow off tiny flakes.
We also mix dishwashing liquid into our stuff , it acts as a binding and wetting agent and allows it to flow over the whole surface better and not beed or dry with small unfilled craters. About 1 -2 drops of unscented cheap stuff per oz or so.
We ALWAYS do destructive tests , prefferably in front of the customer , when we doing lots of stuff.
We laser , wash off and then use a Scotch pad swiped 100x over the surface with medium force , if there is any damage to the logo or whatever , we modify settings. We also take samples during a run and test as well.
One thing , some of these compounds stain metal if you leave it on overnight or for a significant time , we tend to laser and clean with at most a 1 hr cycle.
Focus is critical when using this stuff ..make sure yours is spot on , apart from that , be careful with stuff that doesnt sit rock steady in your laser , tiny vibrations and movments cause by the motion system often are enough to get the item slightly moving and this will affect lasering.
These compounds work on thermal shock , so metals or objects that conduct heat very well will be worse to mark. Ideally at the focal pt , you will want the max power density , so a shorter focal pt lens will work better (smaller spot size , same energy in it so more watts per sq mm), but focussing and flatness of the object are ultra critical.