Instructables

Can I etch a PCB in the winter...?

I want to etch a PCB, but it is rather cold where I live. I had settled on the HCl/Peroxide mix, but I could use something else if need be. I wouldn't be worried about it, except I get the impression it's a good idea to carry out the reaction outside, where it is cold right now. If working outside in the cold is a no-go, is there any etchant that is "safe" (I understand that safety is relative, I mean along the lines not immediately gassing me) to use indoors with ventilation? If so, how much ventilation is needed? Are we talking an open window, or an industrial fume extractor?

Also, I wasn't sure which category and channel would be the best, so if a mod or somebody sees this and has a better classification, go ahead and change it.

Sorry for making this such a long question; I'd just like to be able to use my circuit board before I die ;).

Thanks,
dedgerton

Prfesser2 years ago
Etching will occur at lower temperatures, but not as fast.  A rule of thumb for chemical reaction rates is a doubling of the reaction time for every 10 deg C drop in temperature.  So a reaction that takes, say, 15 minutes at 20 deg C will probably take eight times as long (120 min) at -10 C.

One direction to take might be to have everything at warm-room temperature, then take it outside and etch immediately.  Placing the etching container inside of a cheap cooler should keep it from cooling down as quickly.

Also check out this quick method:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Sponge-Ferric-Chloride-Method-Etch-Circuit-Bo/