Marking & Etching | Monday, 11 February 2019

Electrolytic marking method

Electrolytic marking is a straightforward and simple process, especially when using Cougartron MK12, our practical marking machine for different types of metal surfaces.

Even so, the preparation of various components and consumables may be somewhat challenging If you have only just purchased your machine.

In order to eliminate any confusion, we have decided to give you a detailed overview of all the important points you need to cover before even turning your machine on.

So, let’s begin.

Marking stencils - overview

The MK12 Machine Set contains most of the items you need to start marking.

However, this does not include an essential component of the electrolytic process – marking stencils.

Cougartron mulit-use stencil

The reason is simple.

They are always custom-made according to your design and branding needs.

But how exactly are marking stencils made?

This depends on the stencil type. There are two basic types of stencils you can use during the electrolytic marking process:

  • multi-use stencils: Made of high-quality material, they are intended for long-term use (approximately 500 times). Multi-use stencils are ideal for projects where you need to transfer a unique design (e.g. your logo) to a number of different metal components. You can order them in virtually any size which, naturally, affects their final price. For custom-made durable stencils, please send your artwork (along with the desired dimensions) to and we will send you the final design back together with pricing.
  • single-use (disposable) stencils: are most commonly used and are, at the same time, the easiest to make. Namely, disposable stencils are produced in-house and on the spot using a label printer. Since this type of stencil preparation does not need to be outsourced, it gives you additional flexibility. Single-use stencils are great for marking parts where the information keeps changing (e.g. dates, part codes). As their name suggests, disposable stencils can only be used once.

Watch an example of marking with single-use stencil in the video below:

As noted above, single-use marking stencils are produced from stencil tape using label printers. The tapes come in different sizes, each of them compatible with different printer models.

Stencil / Label Printers

Some printer models are more advanced and offer more options than others, so it is always a good idea to pre-consider the requirements of your projects.

Display type, tape size, and connectivity to external devices are just some of the features that make the difference between various printer models.

It’s important to note that the printers and stencils are not part of our MK12 machine set so you have to purchase them separately in order to prepare your stencils.

PT-E550WVP – Brother Label Printer

Luckily for you, our product range contains a variety of practical models to suit various types of production. This also applies to all MK12 parts and components which can be easily repurchased online through our website.

Here are some basic information about different printer models:

  • TTP-245C Thermal Printer w/ Full Cutter Installed

Compact and reliable thermal stencil printer with an incredible printing speed of 15cm (6inch) per second. It can only be used with a PC.

Compatible with the 106mm x 100m  (4” x 330′) etching roll (sold separately).

  • Cougartron SP100 Thermal Stencil Printer

Equipped with thermal transfer technology and a full cutter. Reliable printer for single-use stencil production for electrochemical marking and etching process.

Compatible with the 106mm x 100m  (4” x 330′) etching roll (sold separately).

  • Brother Marking Stencil Printer – PT-D600VP 

Portable stencil printer with full-color display and USB connectivity.

Compatible with 18-24mm (0.7’’ and 0.9’’) Etching Tape Cassette (sold separately)

  • Brother PT-H500 handheld label printer

Practical handheld label printer with PC-connectivity and a durable rechargeable battery.

Compatible with 18-24mm (0.7’’ and 0.9’’) Etching Tape Cassette (sold separately)

  • Brother PT-800W – stencil printer

Convenient and reliable stencil printer with a user-friendly keyboard and 360dpi print resolution.

Compatible with 18 – 36mm (0.7’’ and 1.4’’) Etching Tape Cassette (sold separately)

  • Brother PT-E550 WVP – handheld printer 

Efficient and portable stencil/label printer for electrolytic marking and etching.

Compatible with 18-24mm (0.7’’ and 0.9’’) Etching Tape Cassette (sold separately)

Marking Fluids

Once you have prepared your stencils, direct your attention to specialized marking fluids.

Our MK12 machine set comes with (100ml) CGT-S1 – an effective fluid for marking stainless steel surfaces.

If you work with other types of metal, we recommend that you look into our selection of other marking fluid formulas for example for aluminum, steel, brass, zinc, copper, and titanium marking.

If you can’t see a fluid you need in our current selection, we can help you develop a special marking fluid formula for your application. In order to do that, please contact us first at

Additional products for marking

Neutralization is an important aspect of electrolytic marking and is performed twice during the processbefore and after marking.

The surface needs to be cleaned before the marking itself so it is absent of any contamination. After the marking is finished, a neutralizer is used to eliminate the traces of acidity and to restore the pH neutrality of the surface.

Therefore, it is important to prepare sufficient amounts of the neutralizing fluid before you even start working.

The MK12 machine set is equipped with a small amount (100ml) of our CGT-N1 neutralizer, but you definitely have to consider buying a larger quantity if you plan to mark more often. We have also developed a new, and more efficient neutralizer formula CGT-N5 that you can consider getting, instead of CGT-N1.

If you mark on a regular basis, the most practical way to apply the neutralizer is to use a spray bottle. This is something you need to take into consideration while preparing your equipment. Cougartron offers Spray Bottle with Sprayer – to fit 0.5L (1pint) of liquid – for thorough and consistent application of the neutralizing fluid.

MK12 Machine Set Unboxing

If you want to know more about the Cougartron MK12 and the components of the machine set, watch our useful unboxing video with all the instructions below.

Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. We are always happy to help!

Cougartron MK12 Marking Machine & Accessories

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Cougartron Marking Stencils & Stencil Paper

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Cougartron Marking Fluids

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Cougartron Printers

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