LaserBond 100 (CerMark competitor)

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Dustin Hawkinson
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LaserBond 100 (CerMark competitor)

Postby Dustin Hawkinson » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:55 pm

I started out experimenting with Dry Moly and discussed it in Malcolm's thread here. I am afraid that much of the discussion was lost at some point and all of my posts as astral are gone from the thread. I had decent success with it on stainless steel, but the finish was more of a gray than black, and I had no success at all with non-metal surfaces I attempted to apply it to. Here is a picture I was able to find of my best test results:

FullSizeRender.jpg (471.7 KiB) Viewed 159 times

After being started along some research by Doug Fisher (in the Dry Moly thread), I read that the inventor of CerMark, Paul was now selling a new formula of black marking material under the brand name Laserbond, and that the litany of civil cases over CerMark were finally settled. Wanting to support the small guy and try his new product, I ordered from Paul's site and subsequently began discussing LaserBond, it's uses and best practices, and even the history of the product with Paul through email. If you are curious about the history, this is what he told me:

The information posted (on RDWorksLab in the Dry Moly Thread) is basically correct both with regard to the Dry Moly spray which contains molybdenum disulfide and which we tested thoroughly (but it didn't work nearly as well as molybdenum trioxide which is much more expensive and a critical component in our formulation; as well as the references to my initial posts in September on which were taken down by the moderator because he thought I was too blatantly trying to promote my new LaserBond 100 products - as opposed to trying to get the "real story" out there about the actual technology and the legal battles associated with it in opposition to other products available (which are all licensed under my original patents), but now owned by Ferro (CerMark). There have been lawsuits going on since 1997, with the final result that Ferro has used their financial resources and now owns or controls all of the early patents to this technology.

Since you purchased from my website, you know that I'm the original inventor of this technology and that there's been a very long history to obscure the actual inventorship of the technology and to attempt to take the business away from me. Based on the recent legal decision, I intend to continue to go directly to all potential customers with the "real story" and to continue to improve the product (as shown by my pending patent) and offer it directly to all end users at a much lower price by eliminating the multi-level distribution markups provided by Ferro - especially since they've bought TherMark (which I originally founded) and now basically control the entire market for this technology. I'll be telling more of the history and the current status of these products on my website blog, so please go back to the website and sign up for the newsletter.

Obviously this is one side of the story, as is my experience since I haven't tried CerMark or TherMark, but it is interesting to those who are curious like I am.

During our conversations, Paul helped me when I first started using the product. I think his feedback could help others starting out in metal marking, so I'll post an excerpt here:

If your original image was of sufficient quality (120 dpi or higher) then it would appear that the coating of the LaserBond 100 you sprayed onto the surface was too thick and/or you used too much power. (Remember that power and speed are closely related - slower speed is basically the equivalent of more power because portions of the laser spot remain in the same position for a longer period of time, even though it's only milliseconds). Due to the smaller particle size, approximately one thousandth of an inch (0.001") is about the optimum thickness, however it's very difficult to spray the coating that thin - it takes practice! The thicker the coating - the more power (or slower speed) you will need to generate enough heat to make the chemical bonding occur causing the LaserBond 100 to adhere to the substrate surface; however. a thicker coating will also produce "fuzzier" edges because the heat generated by the laser spot (when absorbed by the coating) will radiate out into a larger area of the coating and cause the lines of the image (laser dots - dpi plus laser pulses per second) which will then become larger than the original image intended - as interpreted by the laser software/firmware. So my recommendation is to use a thinner coating and/or faster speed to improve the quality of the finished laser marking.

There's much more involved with all this thermal energy/chemical reaction process technology, but I think that's enough for now.

I did find out there is such a thing as too thin of a spray. If the spray is too thin that you can see the metal underneath, the black parts will not be solid after lasering. It seems that you want it as thin as possible while using enough to completely obscure the metal (or other material's surface). I use significantly less power with LaserBond over Dry Moly as well. Only 23% power (~8 watts) at 50mm/s for stainless steel. The only other material I've tried so far has been a white ceramic tile that Dry Moly failed on completely, but LaserBond marked nicely.

Here are some of the RTIC tumblers I've been making lately. I received my first order from a paying customer completely by accident today, so I'll be marking 20 more RTIC tumblers soon. I am still new to this, but I thought you guys would appreciate my initial impressions. I'd love to hear from anyone else with experience in metal marking, especially if they have tried both CerMark and LaserBond.

File Dec 18, 8 47 19 PM.jpeg
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Photo Dec 19, 11 15 04 PM.jpg
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Photo Dec 19, 11 40 58 PM.jpg
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File Dec 20, 12 12 59 AM.jpeg
File Dec 20, 12 12 59 AM.jpeg (1.99 MiB) Viewed 159 times

*I have no idea why some of the images are rotated incorrectly. Sorry.
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Gene Uselman
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Re: LaserBond 100 (CerMark competitor)

Postby Gene Uselman » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:06 am

Very nice, Dustin. And great info, I was experimenting with etching anodized alum parts before I left and have a good customer who would be receptive to this marking on aluminum switch panels. We are near a reliever airport with a lot of aircraft restoration and ground-up reconstructions [rebuilding a DeHavilland Beaver is over $1mil] so we do a lot of switch and gauge panels. Gene
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Keith Sherwin
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Re: LaserBond 100 (CerMark competitor)

Postby Keith Sherwin » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:08 am

Very good post Dustin. I would welcome Paul into the forum and he could explain his story if he wanted to. Each forum has its own rules however I think it would be only fair for him to be able to get his story out. No idea what happened to your posts as Astral. I think I have only ever deleted one set when Klaus got banned way back in the early days.
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Guy Hanson
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Location: Missoula, Montana

Re: LaserBond 100 (CerMark competitor)

Postby Guy Hanson » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:06 pm

great story - I ordered some.
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Doug Fisher
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Re: LaserBond 100 (CerMark competitor)

Postby Doug Fisher » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:20 pm

Great information. The process of coating that stuff seemed to be a "dark art" after reading threads elsewhere. Are you glad you ordered the spray versus the brush on stuff?

Nice work on the stainless!
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Dustin Hawkinson
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Location: Phoenix, AZ USA

Re: LaserBond 100 (CerMark competitor)

Postby Dustin Hawkinson » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:26 am

Guy Hanson wrote:great story - I ordered some.

Let us know how it works for you.

Doug Fisher wrote:Great information. The process of coating that stuff seemed to be a "dark art" after reading threads elsewhere. Are you glad you ordered the spray versus the brush on stuff?

Nice work on the stainless!

Thanks. I am glad I ordered the spray can because I don't have any airbrush equipment to spray on the version that I would have to mix. Also, I don't think that painting it on looks very easy.

I haven't been looking for work, but a friend of mine saw some of the ones I've done for friends and said his boss was looking for this type of product. The 20 cups that they are sending me to put their logo on will pay for another 2 cans of LaserBond for me to play with.
40W (ebay 50W blue wonder), 300mm x 500m, TL
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(The member formerly known as astral)

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