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Metallographic Zinc Etchants

The most common etchant for zinc alloys is Nital, however, there are numerous more specific etchants. A good resouce for additional etchants can be found with the etchant database provided by PACE Technologie.

PACE Technologies Etchant DatabaseClick here to get order

CAUTION: Safety is very important when etching. Be sure to wear the appropriate protective clothing and observe all WARNINGS on chemical manufacuters SDS (Safety Data Sheets). Also review the COMMENTS and CONDITIONS Section for each etchant.

Sample Preparation:
Zinc alloys must be properly prepared to reveal the true metallographic microstructure. A number of recommended procedures can be found at the following links:

PACE Technologies Recommended Preparation for Zinc alloys PACE Technologies Metallographic MET-MANUAL Link
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Recommended Etchants
Etchant Conc. Conditions Comments
Distilled water or Ethanol
Hydrochloric acid
100 ml
1-5 ml

Several minutes

Zinc and zinc alloys

Distilled water
Sodium Hydroxide
100 ml
10 gm
 1-5 seconds Low alloy zinc and pure zinc
Distilled water

100 ml
20 gm
1-5 gm



Metallographic micrograph of etched zinc-aluminum alloy
Zinc-aluminum alloy, 200X B.F., (etchant CrO3, Na2SO4)

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