While there are CO2 lasers that can ablate metals most of us don’t have that capability so a marking compound must be used on bare metals. These compounds bond to the metal at the molecular level to provide a contrasting permanent mark on bare metals and other substrates. This video is EXTREMELY informative and a must watch!
The video has In-depth testing of various commercial laser marking products as well as CRC Dry Moly Lube. Tests performed on stainless steel, copper, brass, and aluminum. Settings and results are also discussed.
- CRC Dry Moly Lube: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013J62P4
- LaserBond 100: http://www.laserbondingtech.com
- Cermark LMM6000 :http://amzn.to/2BE0Yg3
- Thermark (now Cermark) LMM14: https://www.jpplus.com/cermark-lmm14-6oz-metal-marking-spray
- Enduramark: https://enduramark.com
Most of the commercially available products use denatured alcohol as a vehicle so if you use the bottles you can dilute as needed to apply with an airbrush, etc… and you can even scrape clean, unused product back into the bottle to help eliminate waste.
Cermark also make a tape which is great for text, serialized numbers, etc… found here: https://www.jpplus.com/cermark-metal-marking-tape
Besides the common items and the dry moly there are lasering inks for a variety of substrates: https://www.heveslaserengravinginks.com