Safety when acid etching metal surfacesOne of the most difficult parts of the process when acid etching metal surfaces is safety. When working with acid in any form, always add the acid to water and NOT water to acid. Adding water to acid can cause a chemical reaction, which may produce a very rapid heat. This can, on occasion, cause an explosion of the solution.

Rules for acid etching metal surfaces

  • Make sure you work in a well ventilated area.
  • Wear rubber gloves to protect hands.
  • Mix the acid at least an hour before you start your etching, as Acid and water are slow to mix.
  • Never poor the acid solution down the drain

Acid Etching Metal is the process of cutting into a metal surface using acid. Metal etching is used as an industrial manufacturing application, an art technique, and a application for identifying and branding property.

The Method of Acid Etching Metal

acid etching metalThe basic method for acid metal etching is to apply protection to the areas of a metal surface, either to the whole area or just to the areas that are to remain unaffected. The parts of the metal to be etched are then either not covered or the protected material is scratched off from it using tools such as an etching needle. The metal surface is then dipped in acid which then eats away at the exposed areas of the metal, creating lines.

Chemical Milling is another phrase used for industrial acid metal etching. Industrial uses include the fabrication of semiconductors, the printed circuit board industry, and by the aerospace industry in fashioning aircraft components.

10 Uses of Hydrochloric Acid

Did you know that the human stomach contains Hydrochloric Acid?  It is found in Gastric Acid which is a key part of the human digestive system.  Gastric Acid works by activating digestive enzymes in the stomach which help to break down food contents.
The stomach itself is protected from damage by a secretion of a thick layer of mucous and by a hormone called secretin which acts as a neutralising buffer.  Cells in the stomach and small intestine produce bicarbonate which also acts as a buffer and neutralises any potential damaging effects of the acid.
In some people, these mechanisms don’t work properly and they may suffer from indigestion, heartburn or have a peptic ulcer.  Such people may need the help of antacids to neutralise the Gastric Acid in the stomach.
Hydrochloric Acid is a strong mineral acid.  It is highly corrosive and is used in a wide range of industrial processes.

Here are 10 uses of Hydrochloric Acid:-
1. To ‘pickle’ steel.  This is a process whereby rust and scale is removed from steel sheet or coil with the use of a dilute solution of Hydrochloric Acid.  The metal can then be processed
2. To manufacture organic compounds such as Vinyl Chloride and Dichloroethane which are used to produce PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride)
3. To regulate the pH level in a wide range of manufacturing and treatment processes including the production of drinking water, pharmaceuticals, beverages and foods
4. In the processing of additives for the food industry including fructose, citric acid and hydrolyzed vegetable protein
5. To produce inorganic compounds for water treatment including drinking water and waste water
6. To neutralise the water in swimming pools making it safe for bathers
7. To regenerate ion exchangers
8. To process leathers in the tanning industry
9. To purify common salt
10. In North Sea oil production where it is used to facilitate oil well acidizing

Hydrochloric Acid varies in strength.  If you are working with this chemical you must read the MSDS provided before starting a job.  Always wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) including approved eye protection, compatible safety gloves, safety boots and safety coveralls.  Concentrated Hydrochloric Acid should be handled under fume extraction.  This chemical is also known as Muriatic Acid or Spirits of Salt.  It is commonly referred to by its chemical formula HCl.

 

from our friends at The Chemical Blog

common uses for Hydrochloric AcidWhen used with safely in mind, Hydrochloric acid has many common household applications. The website eHow has produced an article highlighting the many common uses for Hydrochloric acid in and around the home. Read about them here.