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Brass Plaque to be put on a Sunken ship - conciderations

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Hi again everyone.

Someone has asked me about doing an engraving on a brass plaque but the instructions I slightly different to the basic stuff I normally do.

Basically a charity run by the local museum have received special dispensation to send a dive team to the wreck of a WW1 hospital ship which was torpedoed by a Uboat and sunk. There were several people from the town that went down with the ship and this is something the town is planning  to do to mark the WW1 Centenary.

They want to put a brass plaque on the deck of the ship. The plaque will be about A5 size and round/oval to avoid sharp edges. Not be to heavy as it needs to be carried by one of the divers, but also needs the relevant protections again the harsh elements of the sea. The  plaque will have the charity Logo and about 15 words of text.

What equipment would be needed to carry out this job and what other considerations are there?

Ive already turned it down because I don't feel comfortable or knowledgeable enough to do the job it deserves but I said id seek advice for them.....would simply going to a memorial type engravers be the answer for them?

Though they are trying to keep it local (Oxfordshire) There might be a job if any of you want to take it on, it would be for less than the going rate of course but if your feeling charitable! :)

Kind Regards,


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I’d use mettalex (I think that’s what it’s called)

looks like brushed brass but is plastic with a gold coloured aluminium coating.

might be better than brass against the sea water and it’s nice and light

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Marine grade 316 stainless steel will be the only metal capable of lasting that long in the sea without rusting or corroding.

Brass, zamak, zinc etc. all corrode extremely quickly with the sea salt.

I'm not familiar with mettalex, but if it's made from plastic then maybe a good option to use too.

Brass hardware lasts around 6 months at the coast before it starts to corrode and rust - you can only imagine how much quicker it would corrode if it was in the actual sea!

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33 minutes ago, Count Muppet said:

I thought that as there’s islands made out of it these days that are gonna be there til the end of time that it must be a suitable material :mrgreen:

There is it is tethered to the Isla  Mujeres in Mexico just of the coast of Cancun. I took these in 2010, look to the left you can see a cat that live there as well.





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Not sure on the properties of Metallex but Gravoply Ultra is good for sea water. Not sure which finishes it comes in brass colourwise though. 


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