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acid etchng question?


Dick Sexstone
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I like to have a really deep etch on some stuff and have noticed that if I just let steel soak it will build up bubbles on the surface which in turn give a very uneven and motled looking surface........My soulution has been to manualy wipe the bubbles off but that is time consuming and sometimes uneven........ Has anyone tried using acid in an ultrasonic cleanner ? I have been thinking it may dislodge the bubbles and give a much cleanner etch........ has anyone tried this? if so can I put the acid in a plastic container and put the plastic container into the tank ? most ultrasonic cleanners I've seen have a stainless tank and I don't think I want to put the acid directly into the tank ......... are there any dangers to trying this? will it work?

thanks

Dick

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I like to have a really deep etch on some stuff and have noticed that if I just let steel soak it will build up bubbles on the surface which in turn give a very uneven and motled looking surface........My soulution has been to manualy wipe the bubbles off but that is time consuming and sometimes uneven........ Has anyone tried using acid in an ultrasonic cleanner ? I have been thinking it may dislodge the bubbles and give a much cleanner etch........ has anyone tried this? if so can I put the acid in a plastic container and put the plastic container into the tank ? most ultrasonic cleanners I've seen have a stainless tank and I don't think I want to put the acid directly into the tank ......... are there any dangers to trying this? will it work?

thanks

Dick

 

Both vacuum and Pressure vessels (80 to 90psi) will solve the bubble part, but be careful when releaseing either as the turbulance of the pressure release (either way) can spill and spray acid if it is too abrubtly released.

Many hard core etchers use a feather to sweep the bubbles away, but you still have to do the sweeping. Sonic cleaners work well for etching an entire part. like Daryl said it removes the smut and most Sonic units have heating elements or will heat the water just with ultrasonic waves. so the etch can be really effective with heat and the lack smut or bubble build up. Unfortuatly Ultrasonic cleaners may remove any resist you have on the parts. Mine is very effective. It will take rust off steel and will litterally take the polish off a part if you leave it in too long. My cleaning solution will get hot after about an hour of use without the heating element on. On a side note,I read that direct light exposure will enhance the action of most acids during the etching process.

Patrick

Edited by Patrick Hastings
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thank's for the info guys.........I didn't think of vacuum.......... great idea Daryl. Christopher , I think I'll stick to the sulfric cause of the ease of finding it....... Patrick, do you put the acid directly in the stainless tank or do you put the acid in a plastic container?

thanks, Dick

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thank's for the info guys.........I didn't think of vacuum.......... great idea Daryl. Christopher , I think I'll stick to the sulfric cause of the ease of finding it....... Patrick, do you put the acid directly in the stainless tank or do you put the acid in a plastic container?

thanks, Dick

 

I have an adapter that lets me seat a glass beaker in the bath. The glass does not touch the stainless steel tank. Glass transmits the energy better than plastic. I don't really do much etching, but I do have a Vacuum chamber a Pressure vessel and an Ultrasonic. The mad scientist in me tries all sorts of things with them.

patrick

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Patrick

did you make an adaptor ? and if so out of what? or did you buy one and if so where?

do you also have the tank fill as well as the beaker or do you leave the tank dry and only fill the beaker.......

thanks

Dick

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Just a piece of wood or plastic will do. The company where I purchased the Bath also sells the adaptors. Just make a hole that the bottom of the beaker fits through. THen use rubber bands or tape to create a stop on the upper half of the glass. You want the beaker down in the tank but not touching the steel any where. The adaptor needs to be secure so it can't slide around and make the glass touch the tank. You have to fill the tank around the beaker as the fluid is how the energy is transfered to the glass. Water needs to be in the tanks while its running for 15-20 minutes to degass it and the small addition of Ultrasonic cleaner really enhances transmission. I should mention Utrasonic tanks have hot spots where the energy can really focus. In these spots the action can be so intense that it damages the surface of the metal (if you leave it in for long periods of time). So if you are going to treat a part for more than 10 minutes you should move it around every ten minutes or a surface with a fine polish can get scared. Another thought is that while surface bubbles will be dislodged on top and sides any cavities under the part can still collect gas bubbles in the acid. Static is another consideration. Be sure that the gas from the acid vessel is properly vented away. A static discharge around the machine could ignite any Hydrogen that has collected on the acid.

I mainly use the beaker in the ultrasonic bath because my unit has a heating element. So I can warm a patina solution by setting a beaker full of it in the bath. I have not found much need for running the sound while doing this, but I have tried it. Personally I just agitate the work piece and wipe with a feather to remove bubbles, but your context might be different so maybe the bath will help you in your situation, just be careful and be sure to protect yourself.

Good luck!

My internet connection is really bad lately so I may not beable to reply.

Patrick

 

 

Patrick

did you make an adaptor ? and if so out of what? or did you buy one and if so where?

do you also have the tank fill as well as the beaker or do you leave the tank dry and only fill the beaker.......

thanks

Dick

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I haven't used acid for a long while, but when I did, I used a bubbler used in fish tanks. The bubbler provided enough agitation to disrupt the bubbles forming on the surface. I also used a tank heater, glass tube with heating element in it, to heat the acid. Heating really increased the speed of the bite.

Don Fogg

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thanks Patrick....

Good info........ I ordered a small ultrasonic yesterday to fool with........ I will post my results after I have fool round with it...

thanks Don .

great alternatives........ I may give them a try after I've fooled with the ultrasonic a bit.......

dick

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