Laser Marking Aluminium

Hello Glowverse! I want to engrave on aluminum using a laser marker product to leave a black imprint. I’m aware of Laserbond 100 etc, but seems expensive for a one-off project. Has anyone come across a cheaper solution?

Thanks,

Nick

Every alternative I’ve use that is not explicitly designed to mark on aluminum has done nothing.

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You won’t be able to engrave aluminum. The laser doesn’t have enough power to engrave it. Engraving means removing material.
You have several options with aluminum to leave black text on a silver background:

  1. Marking compounds, which you have found to be expensive. There are several on the market; you may find one that meets your budget.
  2. Buy black anodized aluminum and use the laser to ablate the dye from the anodize everywhere you want silver. This will give you the most durable result.

It seems that more than one person has tried ‘marking’ aluminum with different products that SAY they will mark aluminum, but then do not. I know this isn’t any help to you. I do know that LaserBond and Cermark and other mediums do mark on stainless very well. I’ve never used dry Moly, but I think it’s one of the least expensive of the marking mediums. Is there any thought that you might switch from aluminum to stainless steel?

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Same here unfortunately.

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Haven’t tried aluminum, yet, but I have had pretty nice success with the dry moly lube on stainless

Hi folks, thanks for the quick replies. I’ve engraved black anodized aluminium with a lot of success, I like how it looks. However, for this plaque my friend really wants black letters on a silver metal substrate, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be aluminium, that’s just the material I have on hand. Perhaps I’ll see if I can get some stainless instead, just didn’t really want to spend $70 on a spray for a one off that’s all…;-(

Why not do a negative marking as I suggested above on the anodized aluminum? No additional material cost and a durable black mark on silver. It will take a little longer, but should look about the same as using a marking compound.

One thing to consider is that much aluminum is sold anodized. Anodization creates an oxide layer on the surface of the aluminum that will prevent many things from sticking to it. This may be why your marking materials don’t hold, though I haven’t used aluminum yet. If you have raw aluminum and Scotchbrite the surface to clear any oxide, do the marking materials stick any better?

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Now you’ve given me some new ideas to try. Aluminum foil isn’t anodized, is it?

https://lmgtfy.com/?q=is+aluminum+foil+anodized&s=g

Yeah, I know. Sometimes people have the answer ready to hand.

Ah…I see…do a complete negative as it were. I get my aluminium anodized at a professional shop, so no worries there…thanks Ben! I will give this a try…

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i did this just recently for a ballcap, it worked nicely.


too bad the hat itself was a reject… the center seam isn’t straight. :frowning:

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The thing is, the answer is no - but the Google front page doesn’t get you that answer, in fact the one that seems to come the closest to answering it indicates yes

image

so while I’m all about the lmgtfy snark, sometimes just giving the answer really is the better solution

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If you’re willing to do stainless, have a look at “Brilliance” spray. It’s a lot cheaper than Cermark and I’ve had good success with it.

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I didn’t have the answer.

Thought I would test aluminum foil as a non-anodized aluminum with dry moly lube to see what would happen. It burned/cut right through.

If you look on the forums, you will see that foils and thin metals behave in manners that can be unpredictable. What a laser operator has to keep in mind is that the laser is imparting a huge amount of energy at a very focused point. The material has to dissipate that energy. Metal foils have a very thin cross-section so they can’t absorb or transmit energy very quickly. You will have to drop the power way back or use a thicker material that can dissipate the energy quickly.

I’ve tried two pre-coated types of aluminium which turn black upon application of a low laser power. One’s called “Alumamark” (https://alumamark.com/), the other “Alulaser” (Can’t find a product website off hand, but http://hitec-ams.com/AluLaser_Sheets.html have it). Both come in various colours and work well on the GF.

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Thanks everyone, once I get this project done, I’ll be sure to post the results…:wink: