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Industrial Markers Technical Information

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Basics of...Industrial Markers

Although there are no formalized regulations regarding process or quality control identification, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has set many guidelines for in-going or out-going identification of component parts and finished goods within a manufacturing facility. These requirements dictate accurate identification of parts for both manufacturing and quality control needs.

Industrial handheld markers are used for a wide variety of industrial applications. From quality control identification to marking lines on steel for cutting with a torch, each application has different requirements for the handheld marker.

The substrate used to mark can be liquid or solid paint, ink, wax-based crayon or pencil lead. The container used to hold the marking substrate could be metal, plastic or simply a paper wrap. The tip (or nib) used to transfer the substrate to the surface being marked can be polyester, felt, synthetic fiber, metal ball-bearing, or, in the case of solid markers, a direct transfer from the marker to the surface.

Finally, the surface temperature of the marking surface can dictate the marker substrate formula, as in marking newly formed hot steel. Nearly every industrial application for marking requires a different type of marker.

Marker manufacturers have developed markers that are appropriate for the marking surface and type of mark required for the application.

Considerations When Selecting an Industrial Marker

  • Marking surface type and condition: What is the marking surface (i.e steel, aluminum, wood, plastic, rubber, cloth, cardboard, concrete)? Does the surface have any special characteristics (i.e. oily, rusty, wet, frozen, etc.)?
  • Temperature of marking surface: Is the surface at ambient (room) temperature or very hot (newly formed steel) when the mark is being applied?
  • Application characteristics of the mark: Is the mark permanent or temporary? Does it need to be a certain size or shape? Are there any specific “dry time�? requirements?
  • Safety issues: Does the application have to conform to specific regulatory requirements (EPA HAPS, SARA, WMIS, Prop 65, etc.)?

Advantages/Benefits of Industrial Marker Types

  • Liquid Paint Markers: These permanent or temporary markers offer fast-drying, durable paint in multiple tip sizes, barrel sizes and colors. Ideal for smooth surfaces at ambient temperatures, however specialty liquid paint markers are also available for oily, wet, rusty and hot metal surfaces.
  • Solid Paint Markers: Combine the durability of real paint in the convenience of a crayon. These economical markers can mark almost any surface and are ideal for metal fabrication, metal production, welding, construction and many other industrial uses where durability and longevity of the mark are vital to the job.
  • Ink Markers: Works best on clean, dry surfaces found at construction sites, industrial jobsites, production lines and shipping departments. Typically, ink offers faster dry times compared to paint markers.
  • Lumber/Timber Markers: For marking logs, boards and raw timber, lumber crayons or “keel�? offer an economical wax-base or clay-based formula that delivers smooth, durable, consistent marks.
  • Welding Markers: Commonly used during pre-fabrication and welding processes. Soapstone, welders pencils and layout markers are ideal for temporary or permanent metal layout or fabrication marks.
  • General Purpose Markers: From carpenter’s pencils to china markers to railroad chalk, general purpose markers offer temporary marks at an economical value.

Tip/Nib Selection

Extra Fine Point
  • Extra fine point: Produces highly accurate and legible extra fine lines and marks similar to a pen. Ideal for layout work, parts identification or anywhere a crisp mark is needed.
Fine Point
  • Fine point: Whether marking on small surface areas or where easily readable marks are required, the small tip sizes provide highly visible, sharp lines for greater mark identification.
Medium Point
  • Medium point: Commonly known as “the industry standard�? of paint markers in industrial applications, medium tips produce bold, highly visible marks on a wide variety of surfaces including steel, plastic, rubber, glass and wood. Tip composition can vary from a softer fiber to a sturdier acrylic based upon the paint formulation and surface application.
Extra Large Point
  • Extra-large point: Oversized tips create the largest, most highly visible marks that are useful for safety applications, equipment identification and signage. Extra-large tip handles rugged surfaces including metal, wood, rubber, glass, concrete and plastics.
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