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Etch solution for 15-5 Stainless





August 7, 2012

Q. I am currently trying to get good etch on 15-5 stainless. I am using a solution of 22% v/v nitric acid and 2.2% hydrofluoric acid at room temperature. What I see with sample coupons is the material starts to etch a little and then stops. Whether I leave the piece in the solution for 5 mins or 30 mins, nothing seems to come off the part. I need to take at least .0002-.0004 off for the job I'm trying to run and I am having trouble achieving that. I have looked at the ASM handbook and Graham's handbook but I couldn't seem to find an etch solution for my particular material. Does anyone have an etch solution recipe that can achieve this? Preferably one I could run at ambient temperature?

Thanks in advance.

Geronimo Cebrero
- Oxnard, California, USA



August 8, 2012

A. You may need to increase fluoride concentration a bit, say to 5%. Ammonium bifluoride is safer to use than Hydrofluoric acid.

At ambient temperature I'm guessing that you'll then remove .0002" or more in 30 minutes.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina


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