I would be most grateful if someone would inform me of the etchant
used for stainless steel and any special process requirements. I have
experience in etching copper and brass (ferric chloride) and silver
(ferric nitrate and nitric acid). ? Thanks so much.
What type of stainless steel, there are many tens if not over a
hundred varieties of stainless. The have varying levels of corrosion
resistance and what you want to do is corrode it :-). For 304 or 18-8
varieties ferric chloride will do the trick.
James Binnion Metal Arts
Someone such as the erudite Mr. James Binnion can no doubt provide an
expert opinion, however I have successfully used both ferric chloride
and 70% nitric acid to etch the pattern relief in Damasteel stainless
steels. The 70% nitric was very aggressive and would have been more
readily controlled with a more dilute solution. I found the ferric
chloride quite adequate and provided less materials handling issues
than the nitric acid.