Decorative metal etching

As you know, metal is difficult to work at home without special skills and tools, especially if it is a solid metal, like steel. Nevertheless, it is possible to call for the help of chemistry: there is such a chemical process - electrolysis. It flows on the electrodes when electric current passes through electrolyte solutions. Those. if you take a metal billet as an electrode, use ordinary salt water as an electrolyte, then when a current passes through it, the metal will begin to bleed, in other words, atoms will begin to “fly away” from the metal surface. Thus, for processing metal, we do not always need any special skills and tools, because everything can be done for us by electricity.
Decorative metal etching
In this article we will consider how to etch on a metal plate an inscription or a picture. This will require:
  • Plastic or glass container.
  • Salt.
  • Metallic
  • Power source 5 - 12 volts.
  • Connecting wires.

Electrochemical engraving on metal

Step 1. From a metal plate, cut a rectangular piece, on which the inscription will be further etched. You can get a metal plate with a thickness of 1-2 mm at any hardware store, I bought the cheapest steel eye.
Decorative metal etching
Cut a piece out of it:
Decorative metal etching
Step 2. Thoroughly sand the surface of the workpiece, first with a large emery paper, then fine. The surface should be shiny, covered with many small scratches. You also need to go sandpaper on the edges and edges of the plate. After sanding, the metal must be degreased with alcohol, solvent, or simply washed thoroughly with hot water and soap. After that, you can not touch the surfaces with fat hands.
Decorative metal etching
Step 3. On the laser printer we print the picture,which will be immortalized on the metal and transferred to the metal with the help of laser-iron technology, which has been repeatedly described on the Internet. Print need to mirror. If you do not have a laser printer at hand, you might as well draw a drawing with nail polish or an indelible marker. The shaded area will remain intact, and the bare metal will undergo electrolysis, i.e. simply anxious.
Decorative metal etching
Decorative metal etching
Decorative metal etching
Decorative metal etching Step 4. Now that the billet is fully ready for etching, you need to take a non-metallic container, pour water into it and pour salt in it. The etching rate depends heavily on the salt concentration; the more salt, the faster the process goes. If the etching rate is too high, there is a risk of damaging the protective layer of varnish or toner from the printer; The optimal ratio - a tablespoon of salt in a glass of water. In the tank you need to fix the anode, i.e.the metal blank and the cathode itself is a simple piece of metal. The larger its area, the higher the etching rate will be. A pictorial setting for etching is shown in the picture below:
Decorative metal etching
Plus from the power source (anode) is connected to the workpiece, and the minus (cathode) in the solution. It is desirable to establish several negative contacts on all sides of the workpiece, then the etching will take place evenly on all sides.
Decorative metal etching
A few words about the power source. I use a computer power supply, or rather its 12-volt line. The higher the voltage, the higher the etching rate. You can use the usual charger for a cell phone, its output is 5 volts, this voltage will be quite enough. You should not increase the voltage more than 12 volts, otherwise the process will be too active, the protective layer of varnish will disappear, and the solution will overheat. Properly connecting all the wires, turn on the power supply. From the minus contact (cathode) bubbles will immediately begin to go, this means that the process is underway. If the bubbles began to go from the workpiece, then you need to change the polarity of power.
Decorative metal etching
After several minutes of etching, a naked yellow-green foam forms on the surface of the solution.
Decorative metal etching
After 30-40 minutes, the workpiece can be taken out of the solution, having previously turned off the power. It will be covered in black, this is normal.
Decorative Metal Etching
Step 5. Now it only remains to clean the metal from the coating, to erase the toner or varnish, if desired, once again sand the surface. Black scurf can be easily removed under a stream of plain water, the lacquer or toner is rinsed off with acetone or nail polish remover. Now it is clearly seen that the letters on the metal have become relief, the metal surface itself has become opaque after etching.
Date: 09.10.2018, 08:55 / Views: 85164

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