TiO2 and Tile Experiments

I have been trying to create images in tiles. For now, Grayscale is the only thing that works for me. More experimenting needed here.

Titanium Dioxide, aka TiO2, seems to be what works best fir me, following the instructions provided by @jkwilborn . Water, TiO2, and a drop of Dawn detergent as a surfactant.

I had a compressor, so I bought an Auto Detailer gun (Horrible Freight) and decided that was too much hassle. I not spray indoors when it was raining. So I ordered a perfume atomizer from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Atomizer-Vitog-Refillable-Distributor-Portable/dp/B0957N7TZM?th=1), which gave less than satisfactory results.

The spray was somewhat coarse, although water alone was a very fine mist, and laid a lot of tiny bubbles in the coating. Burning now, but 3 coats, with a hair dryer on each layer, pretty much eliminated the bubbles.

Here is the QUESTION: Is there a mister/sprayer out there that will spray this mixture better, or is this as good as it gets? My test tile finish is about 3 hours from now.

I have not tried it but some potential ideas:

  1. a hand garden sprayer that’s pre-pressurized with a pump. Might provide for a more even spray than a single-action atomizer.
  2. an oil sprayer. These are meant to work with thicker liquids so might work better than sprayers meant for thinner liquids. There are pump action and pressurized models and perhaps others.
  3. an airbrush meant for thicker paints might work but I don’t exactly have a sense for the density and viscosity of the mixture. You’re looking at at least a .5mm needle I would assume.

Hahaha!!! You have too much free time on your hands!

Hi new to this. Have the same problem ref trigger spray as it clogs quite quickly… i am using 20grams Tio2 and 120grams isopropyl 99% but i use a old hand blender this produces a smooth cream like substance still settles have to shake often. Get smooth finish on tiles but spray gun quickly clogs will try trigger spray guns from poundland 2 for £1

If I use @berainlb 's suggestions, I will need to use my 135mph leaf blower to dry them.

Test tile was a fail, totally. NOTHING stuck to the tile. At least I can reuse it for another test. What worked on my 4" tiles did not work on the 6" ones. I am wondering if the glaze might be different. Tile store had no 4" white tiles this trip.

Doing this stuff is like shooting at a moving target with a rubber band gun.

As in the TiO2 did not adhere and just fell off? Is there a binding agent in the mix?

I should have said it better. The black material from the burn could be washed off with water and thumb pressure. I had much better results with the 4" tiles. I have more testing scheduled for tomorrow. :sunglasses:

Forget the spray methods and read this thread. I’m currently having 100% success doing it with a paint brush, and will shortly be posting more of my work in the finished creations section. I’m all for experimenting in the hope to improve, but how can you improve on 100% perfect results? New tile engraving method - Community Laser Talk - LightBurn Software Forum is a long thread but it cost nothing to read and will save you trying the same failed methods that others have tried.

100% success is better than my 13% success!

I have that thread, along with a couple of others, saved as a PDF. No disrespect meant, but some water, 2 teaspoons of this, and a dab of that is not accurate enuff for me to repeat your results. Precision milligram scales are dirt cheap and mine can zero tare a pint Mason jar. I need the measurements in grams weight. Volume measurements are not accurate enuff for me. My 5.5w diode laser told me there is a fine line between what works and what does not.

I have no feedback on variations of surface characteristics in tile batches. Do tiles from different sources have different properties or not, and if so, how much?

It is obvious your method works for you. The images show the results I hope to obtain. Eventually…

I’m sorry to say I just don’t have the accurate measurements of the ingredients I used. My current mix is what I made almost 6 months ago. I still have about half a pint in a killn jar so won’t be making any more for some time. Regards tile surface variations I have never noticed any problems with the three types I have used. I have used plain white glazed tiles, unglazed mat finished tiles from Amazon and some rough surface floor tiles from my local builders. All get the same treatment and all have given excellent results.

This is what I was looking for. Thanks!

More testing is leading me to the conclusion that my relatively new laser output is not what it should be. I am in the diagnostic mode for this now. It is looking like why I am having Tile Failure Syndrome.

I have just posted a project on Finnised items. It’s a clock made on an old floor tile. PVA and titanium mix as posted before. Brushed on and etched at 1200mm minute power 80%. 5.5w output laser head.

Nice work!

After a lot of testing and scope work, I decided I have a sick diode. I now have 3 choices:

  1. Pay $150 for a new 5.5w laser.
  2. Pay $500 for a new 10w machine.
  3. Put the spindle motor back in and cut my losses.

What is iritating is that the replacement laser has less than 2 hours actual burn time. :-1:

So far, I haven’t gotten any of the TiO2 white tile methods (also “Norton White Tile Method”) to work on my 80W CO2 laser. All of the YouTube videos seem to be using diode lasers for etching tile and metal.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like for CO2 lasers and white tile, the best method is to spray the tile with black paint, reverse the image in LightBurn, and then after it’s etched, use a clear gloss enamel over it to preserve the image.

Anything is possible, try the black. TiO2, I think, melts and fuses into the ceramic tile surface. That makes the image resistant to beingvscratched off.

Not sure what black paint will do. Maybe try cold galvanize (zinc) spray, but be aware you need to protect yourself from the fumes.

I had seen in a YouTube video where Rust-Oleum “Satin Heirloom White” was being recommended based on the user’s interpretation of the online Safety Data Sheet (SDS).

But I contacted Rust-Oleum directly, and here is the response I got from their product support representative:

“Hi, Joel. Thank you for contacting Rust-Oleum Product Support with your diode laser engraving question. Most of our white paints will have a 10-25% by weight range of Titanium Dioxide. We can’t disclose specific ingredient measurements but the “regular” gloss white #334048 would have more titanium dioxide in it just because it is a truer white than the [satin heirloom white] (https://www.rustoleum.com/product-catalog/consumer-brands/american-accents-2x/2x-satin?ls=327920&lc=Satin%20Heirloom%20White) is. We would steer you to the GLOSS paints and to the ones that just say WHITE in the name to get the highest concentration of TD. A Safety Data Sheet with the percentage range can be found on the SDS/TDS TECHNICAL INFO tab on each product page. (links above in blue) We hope this information has been helpful and answered your questions. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any further questions or concerns. Thank you, Diana D., Product Support Representative”

I have a Creality 10W diode laser on order (nice Black Friday pricing direct with accessories from Creality.com). I will try out this paint on white tile when it arrives.

Creality has a 10W machine on sale with accessories for $256, but it might be sold out by now

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This is interesting, indeed!!!

Not yet done a test, but did see some info somewhere where the user added some PVA glue to his mix. Not sure of the ratios and not sure if detergent was used at all.

TiO2 and IPA and distiled water and some PVA glue. Helps to keep the TiO2 in suspension ? Thus a more even mix / product when sprayed / applied to the surface.

I have some items to do but not for a week or two and I just have a 10W diode system.

If I remember, I will try to put up any results. If you try , let us all know.