Copper Sulfate – Saline Etch for Aluminum – Test 1: Becoming Familiar w/ Zea Mays Process

Name: Tessa Chambers & Nick Osetek          Date: 3/15/2018

Room Temperature: 70*F          Humidity: Dry

Experiment Goal: Become familiar with the current Zea Mays copper sulfate saline etch process and etch times by using an aluminum test plate marked w/ various line work and broken down into 1-6 minute segments.

Plate Material: Aluminum (5052)

Plate Preparation (surface prep, ground application, image making process, etc.): Prepared eight (8) 3″ x 3″ aluminum plates. Beveled plates, de-greased with Bon-Ami, applied BIG hard-ground and baked at 220*F for approximately 20 minutes, backed and marked the first plate with sequential etching sections from 1-6 minutes with a pen.

Evaluation of Plate Preparation: The aluminum plates took a lot longer to degrease than copper usually does. Plates could use a thicker application of hard-ground and need more time to cure before etching.

Etching Bath Notes: Plastic tub, 140g copper sulfate, 140g salt and 2 liters H20

Time in Bath: 1 minute etch intervals up to 6 minutes.

After Bath Evaluation: Plate overall held up well and retained line quality in etched areas, but small speckles of hard-ground started to lift in non-etched areas of the plate around at the 1-2 minute mark and 3-4 minute mark. Speckles appeared around the top corners and top edge of the plate. Hard-ground came off in speckles easily when wiping/drying the plate with a rag.

Removal of Grounds (Chemicals used and evaluation of effectiveness): Plate coated with Soy Solv II and wiped off with a rag to strip the hard-ground.

Inking Methods (Type of ink used, modifier, wiping/rolling techniques): No inking/printing involved

Paper Type: N/A

Soaking Time: N/A

Press, Blanket Set Up and Pressure: N/A

Conclusions: _________

Possible issues: 1) Plate not de-greased fully. 2) Hard-ground not applied evenly or thick enough. 3) Copper residue sticking and not floating off of plate 4) BIG ground not cured long enough (no rest period after baking).

Initial pH test of main bath and control (unused) bath

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