Copy and paste of the FB post, not my words or ideas
Due to the (crazy) high prices on Cermark or similar products, most people are looking for usefull alternatives.
Like many others I tryed a bunch of different products containing the magic stuff: molybdenum disulfide, to use as a substitute for “the real product”.
Some product works quite okay, others are completely useless. The products are normaly ment for lubricating, why they are based on oil or grease.
They can be quite messy to use, and to clean off again after the marking-job is done.
So I started to think a little backwards and dicided to try making my own Moly-stuff.
We know that it is molybdenum disulfide that do the trick, so first I searched for the stuff in its pure form. On all the big chinese webshops and Ebay as well, you can buy this lovely powder for a quite low price. I bought 250g for arround 13 US$.
(just make a search for “molybdenum disulfide powder”)
I then putted a spoonfull pure moly into a cup and slowly added normal dishwashing-soap, until I had a nice paint-ish liquid.
This mixture is very easy to apply with a paintbrush (or maybe an airbrush?), and it dryes very nicely into a fine gray substance.
It engraves much better than the different moly-lubricants I have tryed so far. (and I have tryed all the products recommended on this forum)
After engraving / marking it is super-easy to clean…! It’s already made of soap, so a quick shower under the kitchen tap will do the trick without any mess. So far I only have done some tests on stainless steel, but they all turned out very well. Later I will test it on alu, glass, copper, brass etc. etc.
So go ahead and try it out… it’s cheap, it’s easy and it’s delivering a good quality.
Sounds viable, and makes sense. All of the moly-d sprays that I looked up last year came from auto-parts suppliers, so logical to assume they use a oil- or grease-based carrier, and that a different carrier would be better for laser use.
This made me lol, but its true: generally easier to clean up soap than oil.
I wonder if you could spray a bunch of the Moly-D into a jar and wash it successively with acetone (to remove the oil) to get a suspension of MoS2 in acetone. Filter off in a coffee filter, dry the powder, and there you go!
I was somewhat concerned about washing that stuff down the sink, but the MSDS calls it pretty benign stuff, e.g., “Levels up to 750 mg/l powdered MoS2 resulted in 0 mortality to rainbow trout.” Eek, I’d hate to be those fish.
Spoken like a true chemist, but way more complicated than the suggested mix. But if you were in a bind for time and you needed something…that’s kinda brilliant. If I were mixing up some I would put some moly d powder in some glycerin and if necessary add a little water (or a little IPA) to thin it. - Rich