Etching Aluminium and Steel
Q. I will be attempting to deep etch an Aluminium and a Steel vessel to produce a deep relief image on the side of it. What I would like to do is draw an image and immerse or paint a solution on the item and this would etch everywhere I have not drawn.
Does anybody have any information on this process and the chemicals used, and where they might be obtained from?Phil Webb
- Tas, Australia
A. Aluminum can be etched with either acid or alkaline material. An alkaline etch will give a "frosted" look, which is what I guess you're looking for. A potassium or sodium hydroxide-based solution should do the trick. You'll most likely want an inhibited etch (which means it contains something like silicates to control the rate of etch). Otherwise, you run a good chance of getting smut which will then have to be removed with an acid etch.Christian Restifo
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania