Ferric chloride is the optimal electrolyte for screen mini-relief etching (both under the influence of electric current and without it) on various metal surfaces, both from ferrous metals and from copper alloys. Also, ferric chloride is widely used for pattern patting and creating an anti-corrosion protective layer on the surface of metals subject to corrosion under the influence of environmental factors.
Recommended standards for the manufacture of a solution of ferric chloride per 100 g of anhydrous salt water:
- 74.4 g (at 0 °C);
- 99 g (at 25 °C);
- 315 g (at 50 °C);
- 536 g (at 100 °C).
It can be seen from the recommendation that for a more efficient process, the finished solution of ferric chloride must be heated. When preparing a solution for relief etching, it is better to use the entire volume of the contents of the ferric chloride package at once. If it is still necessary to store the remains of undiluted ferric chloride or its solution for further use, it is necessary to exclude air access to it, since when stored in unsealed packaging, ferric chloride loses its properties and becomes unsuitable for use as an etching reagent.
Although ferric chloride has been developed and used as a relatively harmless chemical alternative to more toxic pickling methods such as nitric acid or aqua regia, ferric chloride must be handled with all general precautions. Rubber gloves are required, a respirator and an exhaust hood or outdoor work are highly desirable. Ferric chloride has strong coloring properties. It is difficult to wash your hands from it, and even more so a sink or toilet bowl. Ferric chloride has strongly pronounced corrosive properties. This must be taken into account in the work and when disposing of the used solution.
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