Electrolytic / Electrochemical Marking

Electrolytic marking

Almost all materials with a conductive surface can be marked electrolytically. The marking method can be loosely compared to the screen printing process but instead of ink, electrolyte and current are passed through the stencil. Modern electrolytes are mainly slightly alkaline or acidic solutions and in many cases do not require neutralising after etching.

The stencil (containing the information to be reproduced) is placed onto the product to be marked, the item needs to be earthed either directly or through a fixture or base plate, and then an electrode complete with felt is held in contact with the stencil for a few seconds. An exact copy of the information contained within the stencil is then reproduced permanently on the surface of the part.

Chemically speaking the electrolytic oxide marking process performs an oxidation on the surface of the material. The depth of this etch is generally no greater than 10 µm. The mark consists of several different oxides and is considered to be durable and resistant to abrasion.

Most of our electrolytic marking machines can perform both AC and DC etches, AC (oxide) marking generally produces a high contrast surface mark, for example on steel/stainless steel this would be near black, DC etching actually removes material from the part itself, this process achieves a natural result (same as material colour) which can appear very similar to an engraved mark.

Please contact us if you would like to see any sample marks or would like to send us any material to engrave for your evaluation.


Electrolytic Etching Brochure
Typical application areas

  • Cutlery
  • Tools
  • Medical Instruments
  • Fittings
  • Ball Bearings

Strengths of the OSTLING Electrochemical Systems

  • Economic and permanent marking
  • Individual graphic design of the templates, e.g. company logos, item numbers, or decorative marking
  • Even large areas can be marked quickly
  • For the most varied surface shapes, such as flat, round, concave, convex…
  • Easy to adapt to your needs due to modular product programme

A key advantage of Electrolytic marking is that high-quality marks can be created very quickly – and at very competitive costs.
The OSTLING product range has a modular structure. This means that most of our devices can be upgraded if required later on.
For example, a manual configuration consisting of an EU Classic can very easily be expanded to a semi-automatic system. Fully automatic solutions can also be implemented upon request.
Please contact us for more information or a detailed quotation.