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topic 7319

Safer Alternative to HF Acid for Aluminum Brightening?


We're working with a client that is interested in replacing hydrofluoric acid with a safer alternative to remove brazing flux and oxide from aluminum parts. The flux can be removed with friendlier chemicals, but because of the need to provide a bright and shiny finished part the client has been using HF acid in low concentrations.

I've read a lot of information on other acid solutions to use for this purpose such as sulfuric and nitric (and combos, thereof), but ideally we would like present a much safer alternative to them than harsh acids (if it exists). I'm interested in seeing if anyone has any experience with using ultra-sonic baths with acetic acid or maybe phosphoric acid. Comments would be greatly appreciated!

Jim Kirlin
RMT, Inc. - Greenville, SC USA

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