Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Tips about using ferric chloride

  Any tips about using ferric chloride? 

Keep in mind that one of the byproducts is chlorine gas. Bad
Stuff. Use Good ventilation or do it outdoors.

A few years ago I noticed that the ferric chloride workes
slower at lower temps. Do it on a warn day. or in a 70deg plus
room. I worked outside, and there were times when I would use a
warm water bath for the etching dish.

Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies. <<<



A trick we used to use in etching circuit boards in an
electronics class I took was to have an incandescent light bulb
placed about 4-5 inches above the ferric chloride solution to
warm it. Don’t know if this would work for fine etching, but but
it sure speeds the process up when you need to remove a lot of



At SIUC’s Metalsmithing Programs we are spray etching with
Ferric Chloride. It’s a shop built rig. A Plexiglas box, (with
internally flanged lid) with an externally mounted recirculating
pump. There are two spray heads on each end of the tank spraying
at a removable Plexiglas mounting surface (3-D objects can be
suspended in the middle “target area”). Currently we are etching
copper and brass. The same unit can be used with Nitric Acid
(and possibly other acids as well?). Copper and brass can get an
effectively etched in 4 to 7 minutes. Supposedly you can dilute
the ferric to slow down the reaction if greater detail or control
is needed. I am this week doing a few experimental runs, but
seems to be a very quick effective system.

Impatiently awaiting Spring in Southern Illinois!
SIUC’s Art and Design Dept. under REconstruction Web Page << >>