How do you prepare ferric chloride solution for etching?

Make Ferric Chloride (for etching printed circuit boards)

Should I dilute ferric chloride for etching?


A standard strength for a careful etch on copper is 42 baume, above this and the ferric will etch more slowly as the solution is viscous. We therefore recommend you check the strength of you solution and if necessary gradually dilute with water until you reach a strength of 42 baume.

How do you use ferric chloride for etching steel?

How to mix ferric chloride (FeCl3) for etching a knife.

How long does ferric chloride take to etch?

Toss the PCB into the solution and it’ll take off. If this is the first time you’re using this batch of solution (and I presume it is), it’ll etch super-fast. This small board took only 2 minutes.

What metals can be etched with ferric chloride?

Ferric chloride is one of the most widely used etchants in the field of chemical etching. It is commonly used to etch steel and stainless steel parts, but it is also capable of etching copper.

How do you make a etching solution?

Mix two-parts of diluted hydrogen peroxide with one-part muriatic acid. There you are, done! The hydrogen peroxide acts as an oxidizer allowing the acid to eat away the copper. Place your board to be etched in your new solution and watch it go!

Do I need to dilute ferric chloride?

Do NOT dilute ferric chloride with water. You need enough ferric chloride to completely cover your board.

What happens when you add water to ferric chloride?

When ferric chloride is dissolved in water the solution becomes strongly acidic as a result of hydrolysis. The chemical reactions, in words and formulae are: Schematic representation of the chemical interactions occurring during etching copper in ferric chloridesolution.

How many times can you use ferric chloride?

Ferric chloride can be used more than once.

How do you use ferric chloride?

Open the bottle of ferric chloride and put the sponge over the opening, and tip the bottle to let about a tablespoon or so of solution saturate into the sponge. Now with the circuit board in the palm of one hand, simply wipe the solution-saturated sponge over the surface of the board over and over.

Does ferric chloride dissolve steel?

These acids can dissolve stainless steel and fingers. Chemicals that form acid in water, such as ferric (iron) chloride or copper sulfate can also be used as etching chemicals. These chemical compound work faster than acids.

Is ferric chloride hazardous?

Harmful if inhaled. Eye or skin contact may cause irritation. Contact with liquid or vapor form of this chemical may cause severe injury or death. Avoid overexposure.

Is ferric chloride the same as muriatic acid?

Muriatic acid is “hydrochloric acid” (HCl) in a less pure and diluted strength for non-technical applications like cleaning bricks. Ferric Chloride is an iron “salt” of HCl that is nonetheless very acidic, though not as “strong” as HCl. Either will etch any high carbon steel, eventually.

How long does ferric chloride last?

The generally accepted shelf life of ferric chloride solution is approximately six months. Adding HCl acid can restore the cutting ability of the FeCl3.

Will baking soda neutralize ferric chloride?

The first step is easy: neutralize them with any base, such as baking soda. You don’t need precision, just add a lot of it, and make sure the pH is close to 7 (or beyond, baking soda is not corrosive) at the end. After this step, the solution is no longer acidic or corrosive and much safer to handle.

Does ferric chloride etch brass?

Copper, brass and nickel silver can be etched with ferric chloride.

Does ferric chloride etch Chrome?

Although ferric chloride will not directly each certain pure metals including cobalt, chromium and tungsten, these elements may be present up to certain fractions in iron or nickel alloys and they will be etched.

What do you dip Damascus steel in?

Mix baking soda with distilled water, using a generous amount of baking soda, so you can dip your piece to neutralize the acid and stop its dissolving action.

What can you use to etch metal?

Etch the design

For example, steel can be etched with hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, or sulfuric acid. Copper can be etched with ferric chloride mixed in water to form weak hydrochloric acid. Soft aluminum can be etched with ferric chloride, using acrylic polymer paint as a resist.

What is etching agent?

Phosphoric acid at different concentrations has been extensively used as an etching agent to improve bonding of dental materials to enamel surfaces. Recently attention has been drawn to the possible use of polyfunctional organic acids as conditioning agents.

Can you use muriatic acid to etch steel?

Choose the acid you want to etch the steel with.

Possible acids include muriatic (hydrochloric) acid (HCL), nitric acid (HNO3), or sulfuric acid (H2SO4). Certain non-acids that form acid in water, such as ferric chloride (FeCl3) or copper sulfate (CuSO4), can also be used as etching chemicals.

Can you store ferric chloride in glass?

If you store Ferric Chloride in a sealed glass jar, it stays viable for years – I have some that I prepared 10 years ago and it still works fine.

What is used to etch knives?

Ferric chloride. Ferric chloride is highly applicable with etching a wide variety of steel knives.

How do you etch brass?

Acid Etching Brass Plaques

How corrosive is ferric chloride?

The most common use of ferric chloride is in solution. When dissolved it forms a light brown aqueous solution with a faint hydrochloric acid odor. It is highly corrosive to most metals and probably corrosive to tissue. It is noncombustible and primarily used in sewage treatment and water purification.

How do you dissolve ferric chloride?


  1. Dissolving iron ore in hydrochloric acid.
  2. Oxidation of iron(II) chloride with chlorine.
  3. Oxidation of iron(II) chloride with oxygen and hydrochloric acid.

Does ferric chloride dissolve in water?

Iron(III) chloride

How long does it take to etch copper with ferric chloride?

Leave the copper blank in the solution for at least half an hour. At 5-10 minute intervals, gently stir the copper etching solution to agitate the solution. Remember to wear safety goggles and gloves at all times. Once the half hour is up, check the etching to make sure you’re happy with the result.