Etching solution

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A typical metal plate etching solution contains strong acids. The acids corrode or dissolve the exposed parts that are not covered with the etching ground. Examples of some etching solutions are:

- Steel: 25% acid sulfuric acid.

- Brass: mixture of acid nitric and acid hydrochloric acids.

- Nickel: 45% sulfuric acid.

- Copper - acid chromic acid.

- Zinc: 5% nitric acid.

- Glass: acid hydrofluoric acid.

Synonyms and Related Terms

etchant; tzmittel (Deut.); etsmiddel (Ned.); soluo de ataque (Port.)

Hazards and Safety

Most of the etching solutions are toxic and will attack skin on contact.


  • Richard S. Lewis, Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Michael McCann, Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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