Ask Cougartron Part 6: How simple is to mark and etch metal surfaces using the electrolytic method?

The new episode of our Ask Cougartron Q/A series deals with the simplicity of the electrolytic marking process and outlines some of its main advantages and benefits.

We also prepared a useful video where Tom, our product expert, explains the basics of electrochemical marking & etching and provides a step-by-step demonstration of the entire process from start to finish.

YOUR QUESTION: How simple is to mark and etch metal surfaces using the electrolytic method?

The answer can be found below, together with an introduction to this extremely useful method.


Electrochemical marking is a simple and consistent process whose effectiveness depends on the proper utilization of weak electrical current and non-hazardous electrolytic fluids.

The reaction of these elements with the base material leaves a permanent mark on its surface with the help of appropriate marking stencils. Needless to say, this method applies only to conductive metal surfaces.

Unlike other methods, electrochemical marking does not require huge investments in equipment and consumables. It also provides an extra dose of flexibility to your process, which is beneficial if you work on multiple projects at the same time.

All things considered, it is clear why electrolytic marking is rapidly becoming the method of choice among industry professionals as well as hobbyists.

So how easy is it to use the electrochemical marking equipment? Check our step-by-step instructions below.


Electrochemical marking is so simple that, as we have mentioned in the video, anyone can do it.

The process takes less than a minute and consists of a few short steps:

  • Prepare the marking stencil

There are two types of stencils you can use – reusable and disposable (single-use). Reusable stencils are durable and can be used thousands of times. They are custom-produced by Cougartron according to your design. Single-use stencils are quickly produced on the spot using regular label printers.

Preparation of stencils is done before you start working with your marking machine.

Multi-use stencil (left) and single-use stencil (right)
  • Clean the surface

You need to make sure you clean all the dirt, grease, and residue from your workpiece before you start marking. The surface has to be smooth and completely clean.

  • Apply the marking liquid to the surface

Appropriate liquids are applied in small quantities to the surface before positioning the marking stencil. There are various types of liquids that suit different types of metal surfaces. See our range of marking fluids here.

  • Put the stencil in position

Place the stencil at the exact spot on the surface where you want to mark your logo, serial number, or QR code. Secure the stencil with tape or your fingers to prevent it from moving.

  • Turn on your machine (power unit) and drag the marking head over the stencil

Using light pressure, move the marking head slowly over the stencil to transfer its pattern to the metal surface.

  • Remove the stencil and apply the neutralizing fluid

After a couple of passes, remove the stencil and apply a neutralizer to restore the pH neutrality of the surface.

  • Wipe the surface with a clean cloth


Demonstration of the process was done using MK12, our practical marking machine developed for industrial professionals and hobbyists.

MK12 is lightweight and portable, which makes it ideal for flexible working environments. It will provide fast, consistent, and safe marking results on stainless steel and other metal surfaces.

If your production requirements include larger markings, you can achieve equally satisfactory results using the MK612, our new marking machine with a variable voltage technology.

Click below to read more about both machines.

WANT TO KNOW EVEN MORE? Contact us at or 404-591-8920


All your other questions about weld cleaning and marking are also welcome, we’ll be happy to include them in one of the next episodes of our Ask Cougartron series.

Click here to submit your question now