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PACE Technologies metallographic etching consumables

Metallographic Etching Technical Information

[Specific Etchants] [Common Etchants]  [Product Description]


Etching is a process for revealing the structure of the material, common etching techniques include:

  • Chemical
  • Electrolytic
  • Thermal
  • Plasma
  • Molten salt
  • Magnetic
The two most common techniques are chemical and electrochemical etching. Chemical etching is typically a combination of either an acid or base with an oxidizing or reducing agent in a solute such as an alcohol. Electrochemical etching is a combination of chemical etching with an electrical voltage/current.

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PACE Technologies metallographic etching consumables

Common Etchants

There are a number of more common etching solutions. Several of them are listed in the folowing table.

The following table lists the most commonly used etchants

Etchant

Composition

Conc.

Conditions

Comments

ASTM No. 30

Ammonia
Hydrogen Peroxide (3%)
DI Water

62.5 ml
125 ml
62.5 ml

Mix Ammonia and water before adding peroxide. Must be used fresh. Swab 5-45 seconds

For etching copper, copper alloys and copper-silver alloys.

Adler Etchant

Copper ammonium chloride
Hydrochloric acid
Ferric chloride, hydrated
DI Water

9 grams
150 ml
45 grams
75 ml

Immersion is recommended for several seconds

For etching 300 series stainless steel and other superalloys

Carpenters Stainless Steel Etch

FeCl3
CuCl2
Hydrochloric acid
Nitric acid
Ethanol

8.5 grams
2.4 grams
122 ml
6 ml
122 ml

Immersion etching at 20 degrees Celsius

For etching duplex and 300 series stainless steels.

Kalling's No. 2

CuCl2
Hydrochloric acid
Ethanol

5 grams
100 ml
100 ml

Immersion or swabbing etch at 20 degrees Celsius

For etching duplex and 400 series stainless steels and Ni-Cu alloys and superalloys.

Kellers Etch

Distilled water
Nitric acid
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrofluoric acid

190 ml
5 ml
3 ml
2 ml

10-30 second immersion. Use only fresh etchant

Excellent for aluminum and titanium alloys.

Klemm's Reagent

Sodium thiosulfate
solution
Potassium metabisulfite

250 ml Saturated
5 grams

Etch for a few seconds to minutes For etching alpha-beta brass, bonze, tin, cast iron phosphides, ferrite, martensite, retained austenite, zinc and steel temper embrittlement.

Kroll’s Reagent

Distilled water
Nitric acid
Hydrofluoric acid

92 ml
6 ml
2 ml


Swab specimen up to 20 seconds

Excellent for titanium and alloys.

Nital

Ethanol
Nitric acid

100 ml
1-10 ml

Immersion up to a few minutes.

Most common etchant for Fe, carbon and alloys steels and cast iron - Immerse sample up from seconds to minutes; Mn-Fe, MnNi, Mn-Cu, Mn-Co alloys.

Marble's Reagent

CuSO4
Hydrochloric acid
Water

10 grams
50 ml
50 ml

Immerse or swab for
5-60 seconds.

For etching Ni, Ni-Cu and Ni-Fe alloys and superalloys. Add a few drops of H2SO4 to increase activity.

Murakami's

K3Fe(CN)6
KOH
Water

10 grams
10 grams
100 ml

Pre-mix KOH and water before adding
K3Fe(CN)6

Cr and alloys (use fresh and immerse); iron and steels reveals carbides; Mo and alloys uses fresh and immerse; Ni-Cu alloys for alpha phases use at 75 Celcius; W and alloys use fresh and immerse; WC-Co and complex sintered carbides.

Picral

Ethanol
Picric acid

100 ml
2-4 grams

Seconds to minutes
Do not let etchant crystallize or dry –explosive

Recommended for microstructures containing ferrite, carbide, pearlite, martensite and bainite. Also useful for magnetic alloys, cast iron, high alloy stainless steels and magnesium.

Vilella’s Reagent

Picric Acid
Hydrochloric acid
Ethanol

1 gram
5 ml
100 ml

Seconds to minutes

Good for ferrite-carbide structures (tempered martensite) in iron and steel


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PACE Technologies metallographic etching consumables

Etchant Database

Metallographic etchant database


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PACE Technologies metallographic etching consumables

Etching Product Descriptions

Description

Common Stainless Steels etchants

Catalog Number

Adlers etchant Very effective for etching austenitic 300 series stainless steels (250 ml) ADLERS
Carpenters 300 Series Stainless Steel Etchant (250 ml) CARPENTERS
Kalling's No. 2 Martensitic 400 series stainless steels (250 ml) KALLINGS No. 2
Frys Reagent Precipitation hardened stainless steels (250 ml) FRYS Reagent

Description

Common Copper and Brass etchants

Catalog Number

ASTM No. 30 Copper etchant (250 ml) ASTM No. 30
Copper No. 1 Copper & Brass (nitric acid and DI water) (250 ml) COPPER No. 1
Copper No. 2 Copper & Brass (HCl and ferric chloride) (250 ml) COPPER No. 2
Klemms Stain etch for brass (250 ml) KLEMMS

Description

Most common Steel etchants

Catalog Number

2-8% Nital Most common etchant for non-heat treated or welded steels (250 ml) NITAL-2 to NITAL-8
Picral Heat treated steels (250 ml) PICRAL
Copper No. 2 Copper & Brass (HCl and ferric chloride) (250 ml) VIELLA'S

Description

Most common Aluminum and Titanium etchants

Catalog Number

Kellers Most common etchant for aluminum alloys (250 ml) KELLERS
Kroll's Most common etchant for titanium (250 ml) KROLLS
Titanium Attack Polish Used as a CMP polishing compound for titanium (500 ml) TI-AP-16

Description

Nickel, Iron, Chromium alloys

Catalog Number

Marble's Nickel, nickel-iron alloys (250 ml) MARBLES
Murakami's Chromium alloys (250 ml) MURAKAMIS
Waterless Kalling's Iron and nickel base alloys (250 ml) WATERLESS KALLINGS

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Metallographic testing and Material Science failure analysis and quality control testing are used in industries that require produce reliability such as:

Metallurgical Testing Industries using Metallographic Analysis

Industries Metallographic Applications
Aerospace
Advanced Materials
Superalloys
Ceramic Matrix Composites
Metal Matrix Composites
Polymer Matrix Composites
Biomedical Devices
Medical Implants
Materials Science Education
Metallurgical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Aerospace Engineering
Electronics
Solder Joint analysis
Integrated IC chip failure analysis
Printed Circuit board quality control
Printed Circuit board failure analysis
Dielectric layer coating analysis
Automotive
Heat Treating
Metal Fabrication
Forging
Castings
Thermal Spray
Welding
Powder Metallurgy
Deep Drawing
Fastener Testing
Mining Metallurgical Testing Labs
Grain Size Analysis
ASTM E112
Porosity
ASTM A276
Phase Analysis
ASTM E566
ASTM E1245
Inclusions
ASTM E454
ASTM E1245
Graphite Nodularity
ASTM A247
Coating Thickness
ASTM B487
Decarburization
ASTM E1077
Welding Analysis
HAZ Sensitization
Twin Boundaries
Cracks
Dendrites
Corrosion
Carburizing thickness
Nitriding thickness
Intergranular fracture
Weld sensitization
Flow line stress
Microhardness testing
Rockwell hardness testing
Superficial hardness testing

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