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  • Sponge + Ferric Chloride Method -- Etch PCBs in One Minute!

    Hi GToal...Armour Etch is made from Barium Sulfate, Sulfuric Acid, Sodium Bifluoride, and Ammonium Bifluoride. It used to be made from hydrofluoric acid, which will etch glass very well, but that type of acid is very dangerous because it has a strong affinity for calcium and goes through your skin and after your bones to get it. Nasty stuff! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrofluoric_acid)You might try doing a google search for 'etch' and 'copper' and each of the chemicals above individually to see if they will etch or react with copper. I'm really not sure if any of them would be effective etchants.Consider just getting some ferric chloride PCB etch in liquid or powdered form, or making your own etchant with common pool acid (hydrochloric or "muriatic" acid) and drugsto...see more » Hi GToal...Armour Etch is made from Barium Sulfate, Sulfuric Acid, Sodium Bifluoride, and Ammonium Bifluoride. It used to be made from hydrofluoric acid, which will etch glass very well, but that type of acid is very dangerous because it has a strong affinity for calcium and goes through your skin and after your bones to get it. Nasty stuff! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrofluoric_acid)You might try doing a google search for 'etch' and 'copper' and each of the chemicals above individually to see if they will etch or react with copper. I'm really not sure if any of them would be effective etchants.Consider just getting some ferric chloride PCB etch in liquid or powdered form, or making your own etchant with common pool acid (hydrochloric or "muriatic" acid) and drugstore-variety 3% hydrogen peroxide. The latter actually works very well.Good luck!

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  • How To Electro-Etch a Solid Metal Plaque

    No, I'm afraid I don't. I have never had issues with aluminum.Try upping both salt concentration and power and see if it helps.You can of course just run it longer, but you run the risk of the metal getting eaten out from under the mask (this is called "undercutting" when you are etching with electricity or chemicals).

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  • How To Electro-Etch a Solid Metal Plaque

    Hi CVC...You can use this technique with all metals including aluminum, using the same salt solution and power.One of the first projects I did with this was the embossing die I made that we used to put a raised TechSHop logo on the very first gift certificates we sold. Those are probably collector's items now...we have been open 10 years as of this Saturday Oct 1, 2016! (Be sure to come to our open house party if you read this message in time and you live near any of our 9 TechShop locations in the US!)Anyway... I suspect that your aluminum is either: o Anodized o Coated with plastic or lacquer or some coating o Heavily oxidizedAll these conditions will make the surface non-conductive, and electricity will not be able to pass through the metal's surface.The best way to check thi...see more »Hi CVC...You can use this technique with all metals including aluminum, using the same salt solution and power.One of the first projects I did with this was the embossing die I made that we used to put a raised TechSHop logo on the very first gift certificates we sold. Those are probably collector's items now...we have been open 10 years as of this Saturday Oct 1, 2016! (Be sure to come to our open house party if you read this message in time and you live near any of our 9 TechShop locations in the US!)Anyway... I suspect that your aluminum is either: o Anodized o Coated with plastic or lacquer or some coating o Heavily oxidizedAll these conditions will make the surface non-conductive, and electricity will not be able to pass through the metal's surface.The best way to check this is to see if the surface you are trying to etch is electrically conductive. You could do this with a digital multimeter, a battery and a lightbulb or LED, or even just take your two electroetching power leads and touch both of them quickly on the surface of the aluminum and see if you get a little spark.Anodized aluminum is actually a layer of aluminum oxide formed on the surface of the aluminum, then treated usually with an acid and other chemicals to harden it, and then usually dyed with an aniline dye.If you find that the aluminum is not anodized or coated, it could be just really oxidized, which will make it non-conductive. Aluminum is very hungry for oxygen, and bare clean aluminum surfaces will oxidize very rapidly. If you think this is the problem, try sanding the surface so it is bright shiny aluminum and try your etch on that.Good luck! Please post here and let us know what happens.

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  • How To Electro-Etch a Solid Metal Plaque

    Hi Cameron G17...Yes, I'm "positive" about that' ;)Actually, I did a demo one time and hooked it up backwards, and all the stencil elements that I had carefully cut out of vinyl sheet instantly popped off and floated into the salt water when I connected the power.I'm not sure what the problem is with your setup. Does the battery have sufficient charge (check the volts, should be close to 14v)?Also, check the polarity with your digital multimeter to be sure the car battery isn't charged backwards or the wire colors are switched or something weird like that.Maybe try a different piece of metal for the sacrificial metal.Let me know what happens...thanks!

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