are other companies who advertise they etch stainless steel.
Many also etch other metals such as brass, bronze, zinc, copper,
and aluminum. Companies have
been etching zinc for years and years. The resolution is
good, but you must keep in mind the techniques used. If they
do true etching, they usually rub the etched surface with
a colorant to produce the contrast.
technique is the use of a product called CerMark™,
manufactured by Ferro
Corporation. CerMark™ is a marking medium
used on metals. We experimented with it. It's a very good
product and produces a permanent, UV stable mark. The mark
is black and is produced by a laser. Here's the downside.
The laser could not produce
the detail we wanted using the CerMark™ coating. We
even sent a photo sample we had been using to Ferro Corporation
to see if they could get the detail we needed. We never received
any samples. CerMark™ is an excellent product. It's
just not suitable for this high resolution application.
take stainless as an example. I visited one company (Web
site) that does engraved bronze, but they also advertise
etched metal. One example shows an etched zinc plaque, and
they say it looks similar to the stainless steel. To get
contrast they say the etching is color filled with black.
That's because the zinc and stainless are silver in color.
You must check
out the image resolution a
company can produce if they're using a colorant as a contrast
medium. We do not use
what's going to happen to that black coloring? Black colorants
should be UV stable, but that does not make them immune to
microbial attack and surface lifting. If they use colors
other than black, fading becomes an issue as well. The plaques
could be coated with a clear lacquer, urethane, or some other
protective coating, but that will eventually break down (10-20
years). I discuss options on our Coatings page.
Once the black goes away you'll have a difficult time seeing
the image. Who's going to upkeep your
tribute every twenty years for 1,000 years. A synthetic
diamond coating like we use cannot be
applied to a metal having an organic color filler.
if you want a high resolution tribute
that's going to be around for thousands
of years - and doesn't require
constant maintenance - we're the ones to contact!