The LMM14 and LMM6000 are in paste form and once applied either by airbrush or brush require marking to be done soon after application. The spray product can cause the application of the product to vary in coating thickness and this will result in uneven marking quality. The adhesive tape is more homogeneous and even over the entire surface.
Cermark LMM14, a water-based product, comes in spray or liquid form and is used for black marking most metals. It dries quickly and is very easy to clean up with water. It is advisable to etch within 3 minutes after application and not to leave it on the substrate too long to avoid problems with the removal of the product.
Metals: stainless steel, mild steel, galvanized steel, brass, aluminum, copper, chrome plating, nickel plating, gold plating, silver plating, titanium, pewter, etc. The LMM14 is more suitable for softer metals.
Cermark LMM6000, an alcohol-based product, comes in spray or paste form. It works very well for black marking most metals. Unlike Thermark LMM14 it can be left on the material longer without any problems, this helps the parts to be handled or transported, or stored before marking.
The drying time is slightly longer (between 3-and 5 minutes). The Cermark LMM6000 leaves a very good contrast on stainless steel.
Metals: stainless steel, mild steel, galvanized steel, brass, aluminum, copper, chrome plating, nickel plating, gold plating, silver plating, titanium, pewter, etc.
The LMM 6000 will create permanent marks on metal with a 35 watt or stronger CO2 laser, with fiber lasers that can be set at 200 kHz or higher.
The spray can be used on hard metals such as stainless steel, will work well on some grades of aluminum, but is not recommended for soft metals such as brass, copper, pewter, and aluminum. The LMM14 is more suitable for softer metals.
It is a product designed with pigments similar to the previous ones. It works well on most metals and offers a good alternative for those who cannot work with spray or liquid. It is very easy to apply and remove and gives very good results on natural or colored anodized aluminum.
The marking speed is slower because the thickness of the tape and adhesive slows down the heat transfer process and therefore more time is required for the laser to fuse the pigment to the substrate. No drying is required.
Metals: stainless steel, mild steel, galvanized steel, brass, aluminum, anodized aluminum, chrome-plated, nickel-plated, gold plated, titanium, pewter, etc.
Ferro, the developer of the Cermark brand, has created a product capable of offering the same quality finish as the LMM6000 but in an All-In-One Item, which can be used to black mark virtually all metals (stainless steel, brass, aluminum, gold, silver, titanium, tin, copper, nickel, etc...), and glass, ceramic, stone, brick, tile, etc. It also includes a new valve system that prevents the spray from clogging due to the solidification of the product. It does not stain or tarnish the substrates and it is also very easy to mix as it does not create lumps. It protects the delicate surfaces of glass and ceramics from the incidence of the laser beam. The New Ultra will mark at a speed up to 80% faster compared to LMM 6000 in stainless steel. It does not mark plastics.
The advantage of CO2 laser marking is that the mark is made on the surface of the substrate, vaporizing the material and without causing wear or abrasion. A notch is formed, almost always in the shape of a cone due to the shape of the beam. Multiple passes can create a deep engraving, eliminating the possibility of the mark wearing off in harsh environmental conditions.
It should also be noted that coated metals such as anodized aluminum or painted bronze do not require pretreatment.
Fiber engraving is ideal for marking aluminum, bronze, nickel-plated metals, stainless steel, and others, as well as certain plastics such as ABS, PEEK, and polycarbonates. It is also possible to create marks on organic materials such as wood, clear glass, and leather, but with a fiber system, it is not ideal to do so.
The speed of engraving or marking will depend on the thermal absorption of each product, LMM14 has a higher thermal absorption. CO2, fiber, and Yag lasers can be used at higher speeds. The adhesive tape requires a lower speed setting than all others.
Because different types of lasers react differently with metals, certain considerations must be taken into account. It takes longer to mark metals with a CO2 laser system, for example, because it is necessary to pre-coat or pre-treat the metal with a marking agent. In addition, the laser must be used on a low-speed, high-power setting so that the marking agent can properly adhere to the metal. Occasionally, users find that they can erase the marking after the process, indicating that it is necessary to repeat the marking by adjusting the system to a lower speed and higher power setting.
By adjusting the laser speed, power, frequency and focus, it is possible to create markings on stainless steel with various methods, such as tempering, engraving and polishing. With anodized aluminum, fiber laser marking usually produces much more brightness than with a CO2 laser. However, if you engrave exposed aluminum, you get less contrast, because the fiber laser generates shades of gray instead of a black color. Still, deep engraving combined with oxidizers or color fillers can be used to produce a black engraving on aluminum.