Hand machined mechanical pencils

Laser marking using molybdenum disulfide (31/08/13)

I recently read this post on Evilmadscientist which describes using molybdenum disulfide as a laser marking compound for stainless steel. The original referenced source is this forum posting at Sawmillcreek (registration required).

The idea is that you spray the surface with molybdenum disulfide spray, let it dry, then laser-engrave it and remove the excess with acetone. I used two or three coats and dried them using a hotplate. I tested it on both stainless steel sheet and ceramic tile - the results were quite good. The mark isn't very black, but it does appear permanent.

The spray I used

Coated stainless steel and tile

Tile after various test engravings

After washing the excess off with acetone

This is what engraving a plain tile looks like - not very impressive

Comparison of the coated tile with a plain one

Some line engravings

Getting really carried away!

Stainless steel

After cleaning - the markings really show up in reflected light