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Ferric Chloride Re-use

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Johnson777717

New Member
Hey folks, I suppose this question goes out to all of the people who use Ferric Chloride to etch their PCB's.

How long do you usually reuse the same portion of ferric chloride, before you start with a fresh portion? For instance, you use new ferric chloride to etch a PCB, then what? Do you dispose of it? or do you save it to use again for the nxt PCB? How many cycles are you running it through?
 

crust

Member
You can basically reuse it until it stops etching ... or after a month or so which seems to be its shelf life. I gave this up though because disposing of ferric chloride is difficult as it is very toxic and not earth-friendly as well as the fact that buying boards now is relatively inexpensive, even for prototypes.
 

tavib

Member
:eek:
Better results can be done with nitrogenic acid(HNO3) especially in case of double side PCB.
And the HNO3 turn to CuNO3 when eatch Cu, but using electroliza this CuNO3 can be disociated and the Cu is separated at cathode and at anode NO3- take the H from water and remake HNO3. The solution ca be partially regenerated. The cathode is from Cu and anode must be from hard grafit(syntherized carbon), if anode is not resistent, the NO3- will eatch them.
 

crust

Member
Johnson777717 said:
Thanks for the reply crust. What are you using to build circuits on now, since you gave up etching your own?

I usually just pick one out of the back of the EE times magazine, or use express pcb. I at one time looked at a place called olimex. Their prices (particularly for prototypes) were good, but never did order from them. If there is enough interest, I can flip through the magazine and post the list of sites / prices in their ads.

As it turns out, you can get a run of proto boards for around 10-15US ea if you buy 5 boards. That to me is well worth the time it takes to do it yourself, not to mention, the pro boards usually look better.
 

Johnson777717

New Member
That makes sense crust. I suppose, after you have done the boards yourself for a while, and learned everything you really need to know, you might as well spend your time learning something else rather than making a PCB. Cost VS benefit.

Thanks for the reply!
 
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