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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Electrolytic etching of stainless steel

Target Target

Target

CNC cutterCNC cutter

CNC cutter

Used to cut stencils

Stencil beeing cutStencil beeing cut

Stencil beeing cut


Cut stencilCut stencil

Cut stencil

Removing cut pieces from the stencilRemoving cut pieces from the stencil

Removing cut pieces from the stencil



Ready to apply transfer foilReady to apply transfer foil

Ready to apply transfer foil

Transfer foil applied Transfer foil applied

Transfer foil applied

Workpieces and stencilsWorkpieces and stencils

Workpieces and stencils

All pieces cut from the same stock of X5CrNi18-10 and sandet from 100 grit up to 400 grit. Before the stencil is applied the workpiece is wiped down with acetone.




Stencil application Stencil application

Stencil application

Stencil application Stencil application

Stencil application


Stencil application Stencil application

Stencil application

Burnished onto surface with a piece of PTFE round bar.Burnished onto surface with a piece of PTFE round bar.

Burnished onto surface with a piece of PTFE round bar.



Electrical connectionElectrical connection

Electrical connection

Closed upClosed up

Closed up

Ready to etch Ready to etch

Ready to etch



Electrolyte bathElectrolyte bath

Electrolyte bath

A bath might not be the best solution i have been told, i will have to investigate that further. Connect the positive supply to the workpiece and the negative to another piece of the same metal and hang both in the bath. Use a well ventilated area, the gasses produced are a bit hazardous.
Power supplyPower supply

Power supply

The "wrong" polarity is intentional, i only want to chew up one alligator clip when electroplating, so i switch them around.
Etching in progressEtching in progress

Etching in progress

Again, maybe not the best soltution to use a bath. Notice the bright neon green discoloration of the electrolyte while etching, looks kinda pretty.


Document, observe and measure.Document, observe and measure.

Document, observe and measure.

Science!



Best result so farBest result so far

Best result so far

400ml saturated Saltwater solution, regular table salt. Etched at 5V over 30 minutes. Experiments with 30% HCL, acetic acid and saturated Iron(II) sulfate solution were way less successful. Best results so far were provided by just plain saltwater.



For funFor fun

For fun

Etched Garrus Vakarian keychain thingie.

Source imgur.com/a/ZJ6Nk