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What is Electromarking?
Electromarking is chemical marking or etching with the use of electrical current. Using an amperage power unit and a stencil of the desired marking, a solution referred to as an electrolyte is applied, which allows the electrical current to pass through and onto the metal.

Electromarking Facts
Electromarking produces a sharp, attractive design or impression. The aircraft and defense industries prefer it because it does not cause distortion or sharp indentations in the metal. Also, manufacturers who produce quality cutlery, feeler gages, saw blades, and carbides like Electromarking for its clean, clear impression. In general, Electromarking is most applicable where hardened, or thin, or already assembled parts must be marked permanently with no distortion.

One can perform Electromarking on almost any bare metal (except painted or anodized surfaces). It isn’t necessary to clean the surface before marking with any chemicals, but a lightly oiled surface may improve the mark. Many plated surfaces can also be Electromarked.

Electromarking is recognized as the best way to permanently mark conductive metal surfaces. It does not cause distortion, sharp indentation, stress, burrs or strain. The mark is permanent because metal is etched away from the surface through the design stencil.

Electromarking can produce an etch ranging from less than .0001" to as deep as 0.010", through the use of AC or DC current. AC current makes a shallow etch from .0001" to .0002" in depth, depending on the length of time the stencil and the solution are in contact with the metal. The resulting etch is dark or contrasts with the surrounding metal. The degree of darkness depends on many things; however, the base metal is the most important.

For example, some stainless steels give only a brown mark, whereas monel metal gives a jet black mark. With AC, metal is etched away during half of the cycle and an oxide is deposited in the etch during the other half of the cycle. This oxide deposit will withstand corrosive action, as has been demonstrated by its capability to stand up under extensive salt spray tests over long periods of time. DC current provides a deep etch from .0001" to.010" in depth. This leaves a clear or white etch on most metals. With DC, metal is etched away during the complete cycle. The deep etch cannot be removed without removing the base metal to the depth of the etch.

Why Use Electromarking?
Electromarking is simple, fast, safe and economical. The electrolyte solution is nearly neutral on the ph scale and therefore will not damage skin, clothing or the environment.

Hardened, thin or delicate, already assembled parts and even carbides can be marked easily and permanently without distortion. Therefore, electromarks will not peel off, rub off, fall off or become lost. All conductive metal surfaces, including plated surfaces and the majority of other supplemental coatings can be marked. Parts can be marked for stock identification in the field. Additionally, parts can be marked immediately after production or assembly, or can be stored without a mark and then quickly marked prior to shipment. This is beneficial where the same part may require a different identification for different customers.

Who Uses Electromarking?
Dunnrite Propellers have been Electromarking stainless steel propellers for many years now. A wide range of manufacturers use Electromarking. Manufacturers who produce fine cutlery, feeler gauges, saw blades and other components all prefer this method of marking. Electromarking is used extensively by the aerospace, aircraft and automobile industries.

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