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Why we love electro etching (and you should too!)

Why we love electro etching (and you should too!)

Posted on Friday, 17 March 2017 by Clayton Thomas
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Say goodbye to laser marking, engraving and acid etching and HELLO to electrochemical etching. This is the best way to permanently mark stainless steel and other metals with high definition graphics - like your logo! Electro etching is consistent, durable, cheap, and easy to do. There's loads of ways you can benefit from an electrochemical etching machine - learn more below...

What is electrochemical marking?

Electrochemical marking (also referred to as electro etching, chemical etching or electrolytic marking) uses an electrochemical process to permanently etch/mark high resolution graphics onto stainless steel and other conductive metal surfaces for both industrial and artistic purposes. Common industrial uses are for branding, identification and traceability of stainless steel fabrications. Electro etching is a more durable, cheaper and easier alternative to engraving, laser marking, or acid etching stainless steel.

8 awesome ideas for using electro etching on stainless steel

There are tons of ways to use an electrochemical etching machine. Since they provide a permanent, high resolution, consistent marking that doesn't fade over time, here are some of the top industrial uses:
  1. Branding - quickly and easily use the electro etching machine to brand your products to differentiate them from the competition. Better yet, if you have regular or big order customers, you could offer to etch their logo on the products!
  2. Part numbering - number your parts for easy identification and tracibility that will last. No need for lazers, engraving, or dangerous acids.
  3. Barcodes/QR Codes - provide consistent, high resolution product barcodes or QR codes that won't fade away over time. 
  4. Labeling - permanently label parts and products to make it easier for customers to know which one is which, sizing, or which way to put things together!
  5. Measuring - turn bowls and containers into measuring tools by marking capacity measurements on the inside! Etching still leaves the product surgically clean, and up to food safe standards.
  6. Designs - customize your work by electro marking patterns and graphics onto polished stainless steel.
  7. Personalisation - one-off fabrications can be personalised with names, dates, and graphics.
  8. Plaques/Signs - use chemical etching to write on plaques or signs, such as health and safety warnings, this way up signs, or dedication plaques.

Benefits of electro marking:

  • Precise, consistent high resolution
  • Durable, cheap, and easy
  • Fast - marking speed takes between 0.25 to 4 seconds!
  • No corrosion or other negative effects
  • Stencil design options are almost unlimited
  • Use on most surface shapes (flat, round, concave, convex)
  • Non-toxic
  • No need for lazers or dangerous acids

How does it work?

While there are machines out there that are just for electroetching, our Cougartron ProPlus Etching Kit allows you to use your Cougartron ProPlus electrochemical machine to do all the electrolytic etching you need! Watch this short video
Simply plug in the adapter, attach the foot pedal, spray on the marking fluid, Cougartron over the stencil, neutralise and wipe down and you're done!

What do I need to get started?

  • Cougartron ProPlus Electrochemical Machine (If you don't already have one)
  • Cougartron ProPlus Etching Kit - this includes:
    • Shock-resistant case
    • CGT-S1 Etching Fluid for stainless steel - 0.5L
    • CGT-AL Etching Fluid for aluminum - 0.5L
    • CGT-N1 Neutralizer - 0.5L
    • Adapter & Electrode
    • Etching Foot-pedal
    • Marking Felt 1m
    • 25mm masking tape
    • Scissors
    • Stencil 40 x 60mm (made acc . customer's design)

FAQ's

How long does it take?
It's very fast! Each etch only takes between 0.25 to 4 seconds depending on the level of darkness you require.

How permanent is electrochemical marking?
Very. Electrolytic etching will keep to a high resolution for the life of the fabrication so long as the product is cared for. The only ways to remove the marking would be through electro-cleaning or grinding back the surface.

Are the chemical marking fluids safe?
Yes, just like electrochemical cleaning, the Cougartron CGT-S1 Etching Fluid for Stainless Steel, Cougartron CGT-AL Etching Fluid for Aluminium, and the CGT-N1 Neutralizer are all classified as non-hazardous. You can download the MSDS sheets from our product page: Cougartron ProPlus Etching Kit

Can I get more stencils?
Absolutely! The electrochemical etching kit comes with 1 x 40x60mm stencil custom made for your design (most customers choose their logo). You can also purchase additional stencils available in 3 sizes - 40 x 71mm, 60 x 100mm, or 100 x 110mm.

Will I need to re-passivate after etching?
There is no need to re-passivate or polish after etching. The electro marking will not damage the surface condition of the metal, and will leave it free of corrosion or other negative effects.

Could a ProPlus Etching Kit benefit your workshop?
If you've already got a Cougartron ProPlus electrochemical machine, you know these machines do everything they say they will and more. So why not move to the next level of cool, with the ProPlus Etching Kit?

If you are yet to try the Cougartron ProPlus system, then let's try it in your workshop! Book yourself a free trial here

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