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UMS » Hints and Tips » Electrochemical Marking

Electrochemical Marking Hints and Tips

Marking Quality

I am getting a brownish mark rather than a black mark [+]

The power setting is probably too high so reduce the power.  Also check the electgrolyte being used is correct for the material you are marking.  Please refer to the electrolyte selection chart or call us for advice on electrolyte selection.

Cleaning Your Marking Head Parts to Maintain Marking Quality [+]

To ensure the contrast and clarity of your mark is maintained it is important to inspect the connections between the marking head and the output cables and the earth connection to make sure they are clean and free from corrosion and dried electrolyte. This should ideally be done weekly.   They can be cleaned with an abrasive material such as Scotchbrite.  In addition to this we recommend washing the marking head out ideally at the end of each day.  If using ME grade electrolytes then wash the marking head out with tap water.  If using MA grade (Aerospace/Nuclear) wash in de-ionised water.

Importance of neutralising [+]

Some of our electrolytes require neutralising and we can supply neutraliser in a handy "Neutrawipe" pack for ease of use.  Note that ME8 does not require neutralising.  

Electrolyte shelf life [+]

The majority of our electrolytes have a shelf life of 18 months.  After that time you may see a degradation in the quality of mark.

Marking Standards

Marking standard compliance [+]

The ME3000T is used for most Aerospace applications and meets the standards set out by the key aerospace manufacturers.  We also  manufacture our own range of high purity approved Aerospace electrolytes which are all batch tested for purity.  Please refer to the marking standard and contact us for further information.  Our MA grade elctrolytes are also approved for Nuclear marking.

Marking Units

No power output given from the marking unit [+]

Check the overload function has not been activated.  If it has, this is typically due to a short circuit caused by touching the electrode of the marking head on to the component or earth connection.  Simply reset the overload reset and check the main fuse.

Voltage Output [+]

Using the AC setting on a multi-meter without any load:

ME3000T Power Setting:

ME3000S/B Power settings:

Metal Types & Finishes

Marking Titanium - achieving the best results [+]

Titanium marks very quickly.  There is a specific technique for oxide marking this metal.  Use either MA4 or MA5.  Low power setting, 1 or 2 on most of our marking units.  Marking cycle of 0.25 - 0.75 seconds.  Do not pre-wet the marking face or stencil with electrolyte.  Keep the felt pad just damp with electrolyte and use a very firm marking pressure and mark the part in one go without moving the marking head if possible.

Marking onto a lightly oiled surface [+]

This can be done, however, the oil may block the stencil over time if not changed regularly enough.


Windows compatibility [+]

The latest versions of our stencil software are Windows 7, 32 and 64 bit compatible.  Please check if you already have software for compatibility and upgrades.

Stencils & Stencil Printers

How to view the stencil image on BRSK and POD stencil paper [+]

To make it easier to see the image on the stencil with both these types of stencil paper, use a highlighter pen on the shiny side of the pod paper and then rub off the excess ink with a tissue.  This leaves a visible impression of the stencil image.  Not appropriate for Aerospace applications.

Alternatively, place the stencil onto the component to be marked and wipe the marking head over the stencil lightly to release a little electrolyte which gives some visibility of the image before the marking cycle is started.

POD Stencil printer setup checks [+]

Check the following:

Disposable Stencil Life [+]

Stencil life can be affected by the power setting, the electrolyte type and the marking cycle time.  For BRSK stencil tapes expect approx 3-5 marks per stencil for oxide marking and 1 mark for etching although BRSK stencil tape is not suited to very deep etching.  With POD stencils expect aprpox 10-15 marks for oxide dependent on the application and 1-2 marks for etching.