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topic 12455

Photo-etching stainless steel



I would like to know which chemicals products can I use to make photo-etched parts using a 0.10 mm thickness stainless steel sheet. If there are more than one ways to get it, which one is safest way to achieve it? And the faster?

Thanks in advance.

VÌctor Sanz
- Barcelona, Spain

Ferric Chloride


First of all you need to mask off the stainless steel. The quickest way to do this is to use dry film photoresist, but you can also use photoresists based on electrophoretic paints or the more conventional liquid organic resists based on materials like PVA or albumin. Expose the resist through the required artwork and develop your image. Once fully developed, the stainless steel can be etched with 35% ferric chloride solution operating at about 50 °C. This stuff really seeps and is not nice to use, but it is cheap and very effective. It may be possible to use cuprous chloride solutions but that depends on the stainless steel and how much money you have to spend.

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

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