Etch nickel

The etching of nickel is needed again and again. Basically, the etching of nickel is not difficult because the metal reacts to a number of highly concentrated acids. What has to be considered when etching nickel, we have summarized below.

Nickel plating is widely used because of its excellent properties

Nickel plating is one of the most commonly used coatings. This is mainly due to the excellent properties of the metal:

  • resistant to water
  • resistant to contact with air (oxygen)
  • resistant to many dilute acids and alkalis

Highly concentrated acids and alkalis on nickel

However, if acids are concentrated, there is no longer any resistance. Incidentally, this also applies to ammonia. This is important because home improvement when cleaning or polishing nickel quickly think of oven cleaner. However, many of these special cleaners contain ammonia.

What should be considered when etching nickel

Of course, it is also important whether you want to completely remove a nickel layer or only want to etch superficially. Nevertheless, you should take into account the specific features that you have in any case.

Etching nickel on copper (nickel-plated copper cables)

For example, a typical application where nickel needs to be etched or even removed is removal of the nickel layer on copper lines. Consequently, you must use a means of etching that removes the nickel but not the copper. This will take us to sulfuric acid.

Massive and easy etching of nickel coatings

You should use a 60 to 65 percent sulfuric acid to etch nickel. Then you can etch the nickel layer and roughen it. In addition, it may be that the nickel surface mechanically little, but optically changed all the more.

Carefully etch with acetic acid

This is also possible by etching. You can insert the nickel-plated workpiece in acetic acid or vinegar essence. After a short time, a discoloration of the nickel surface sets in. The nickel becomes much darker. However, there is a risk that the nickel surface will not darken uniformly. By the way, this method also belongs to the cleaning and polishing of nickel, if gentler methods do not help anymore.

Tips & Tricks

In the house journal you will find numerous guides and instructions for the etching of various metals. In addition, we also show you numerous other processing techniques such as the brazing of copper or the high-gloss polishing of aluminum and of course all other important processing techniques for metal materials from coating to grinding and gluing.

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