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How to etch aluminum panel labels/designs with a reusable acid mix

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Step 1: Materials

List of materials:

-Some aluminum panel/s

-A nice design for the etching

-Laser printer w/ black ink

-Some pnp-blue sheets

-Gloves

-Eye protection glasses

-Protective clothing

-Hydrochloric acid (same thing as as muriatic acid)

-Hydrogen peroxide (same thing as oxygenated water)

-A shallow plastic container to mix the peroxide with the acid (2:1 mix, depending on the peroxide concentration you may need to change the mix, I used 11vol. peroxide)

- Another container with water to rinse the panel.

-***Extremely well vented work area*** try this only if you have access to any open and well vented area, the process creates some probably dangerous, and bad smelling fumes, beware!!!
-running water(avoid any metal tool/surface... metal kitchen sink is a no-no, unless you like to spend some $ on repairs )
 
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lazemaple3 years ago
I have 3% peroxide which is sold in drug stores and 35% peroxide which I think may be too concentrated? Also, do you add the peroxide to the acid or the acid to the peroxide?
sineSurfer (author)  lazemaple3 years ago
Hi lazemaple: I'd go with 35% peroxide as it should work faster, giving more oxygen to the mix to work with... maybe you want to try with a scrap alu piece first to test the etching speed And you must add acid to the peroxide, never the other way, the explanation: A large amount of heat is released when strong acids are mixed with water. Adding more acid releases more heat. If you add water to acid, you form an extremely concentrated solution of acid initially. So much heat is released that the solution may boil very violently, splashing concentrated acid out of the container! If you add acid to water, the solution that forms is very dilute and the small amount of heat released is not enough to vaporize and spatter it. So Always Add Acid to water, and never the reverse. extracted from here: http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/safety/faq/always-add-acid.shtml
dr.Maligno4 years ago
hi from spain, did you used peroxide vol.11 or vol.110??
thanks
sineSurfer (author)  dr.Maligno4 years ago
 hola dr. Maligno!, I used vol. 11 as that's all I can get over here, a friend from Tenerife uses vol. 30 for pcb etching, he gets the pcb's etched in 25 seconds! you may want to try with 30 too :)

I'd do some tests on spare aluminum to see how fast the etching goes, as it can be to agressive and ruin your design.
after doing some prove expreiments, i did try vol.10,vol25 and 30, but its too slow process. At last, i buy peroxide 110.vol and then the pedal become etched.
sineSurfer (author)  dr.Maligno4 years ago
 that's weird, but good to know it worked at last, post a picture when your pedal gets finished ;)
last day i upload some photo but i dont know wath happend and finally not load. sending photo......
BS Kustomz5 years ago
i would like to add that if left uncoverd a container of muriatic acid will put a nice layer of rust on any bare ferris metal in the area over night as well as the fact that when combined the acid and the aluminum create hydrogen gas so please good ventalation
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