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Etching Question - Ferric Chloride & Muryatic acid

Hey People, I’d like to know what solution of Ferric Chloride and
Muryatic acid to mix for etching steel . This will be for an
experiment combining a pancake blanking die and a matching
die set together . As in a one step die that cuts and embiosses. The
project I have isn’t going to work any other way than with a hard
steel forming set, and I need a cheap easy way to make that. The
funkyness of etching is suitable for this particular project. Thank
you, drive through. Dar

Hi Dar; It would depend on the carbon content of the steel you are
using for the dies. High carbon steels react more dramatically to
the etching process in general I would use Ferric Chloride alone,
but I don’t see any use for Muriatic acid. Dilute nictric acid works
well, at about 10-15%, which is fairly week and takes longer, but
this will minimize undercut. Ferric chloride alone works very well
for most steels, but strength depends on the concentration of the
product you start with. If you are using molar strength, as from a
chemical supply house, that’s a lot stronger than the stuff you get
for etching circuit boards from Radio Shack. Personally, I don’t
keep a lot of it on hand, so the Radio Shack product works fine for
me. I mix about 3 parts Ferric Chloride to 1 part water for etching
at room temperature. Check the site and see if
you can find further there.

David L. Huffman

Dar, I think that Ferric Chloride will etch steel very fast all by
itself. A little acid may extend the life some. I used to add HCl
(same as muriatic) when my etching slowed down on brass.