I’ve etched powder coated metal before, looks great. No worries.
I have a bunch of metal samples… Popped a logo in, zooms and pews, ta da. It STINKS! Like worse than acrylic. 'Tis also very sticky on the etched area. Now worried, I check the label… 'tis not “powder coated” as I thought, but “baked enamel.” Hmmm…
Only did a 10 minute etch, so I don’t think I’ve permanently damaged anything, nor believe I’ve poisoned myself, but I am worried that perhaps this coating is not ‘laser safe.’ The smell is definitely giving me a headache, as does acrylics. And I feel dumb for assuming the samples were the same as others I’ve done and didn’t check first.
Also, my googlefu is failing as I can’t really find an answer on whether it’s safe or not…
I guess it doesn’t matter if it is or isn’t at this point. Definitely NOT doing that again. Smell is awful.
Technically enamel is glass, which is why is requires firing, and both sides of the metal should be enameled due to the stresses involved in the firing processes and to keep the enamels from cracking.
But suspect this is more like an enamel paint than a true enamel, very common for pins and such, which is why it would be sticky because you melted it, but it didn’t cure again via a baking process. Best to avoid using it any more if it bothers you, even if there weren’t any health risks.
True, but most aren’t written to address laser etching (volatiles & flammability most applicable?), And some are written much better than others (when I worked in OR, everything brought into the plant required MSDS).
I like it, too. (EDIT: The smell of acrylic, NOT Aspirin!!!) My dad made a lot of acrylic stuff for his aquarium hobby when I was a kid, so I think in my case it’s the nostalgia that makes me think it smells good.
Long ago and far away, when I worked in a bank and smoking was still allowed, occasionally someone would walk in smoking a cigar. Nearly everyone complained about the ‘stink’…except me. For me it conjured fond memories of my dad who smoked pipes and cigars when I was growing up. It still does that to this day, so again I think I am placed in the weird category.
They aren’t perfect but they are about the best that we have to go by.
I read all of the MSDS if I feel I need to look one up, but a lot of them will have a decomposition section - such as the hazardous decomposition section in this screenshot (which is an MSDS for Neoprene):