Copper Sulfate – Saline Etch for Aluminum – Test 15: Aluminum 1100 Etch Test

Name: Nick Osetek & Tessa Chambers                                                 Date: 5/24/2018

Room Temperature: 71*F                                                                    Humidity etc: Slightly Humid

Experiment Title: Aluminum 1100 Etch Test

Experiment Goal: To compare the quality of the higher grade 1100 aluminum to the 5052 aluminum we’ve been using. Will the 1100 etch truer to time? Will the 1100 aluminum display a smoother overall texture rather than the gritty texture of the etched 5052 aluminum.

Plate material: Aluminum (1100)

Plate Preparation: Steel wooled, degreased with Bon Ami and soy sauce, then backed with contact paper.

Evaluation of Plate Preparation: Normal

Etching Bath Notes: The bath had a build up of crystals floating on the surface and we’re wondering if that could be from exposure to warmer temperatures. We placed a plastic grate towards the surface of the bath so our plates can still be submerged in the mordant, but not sink to the bottom.

Time in bath15 sec, 1 min, 5 min, 8 min

After Bath Evaluation:  The bath still had crystals built up on the top but now more around the edges of the bath from stirring, and etching.

Removal of Grounds: N/A

Inking Methods: Bone black, 10% Burnt Plate Oil 00,

Paper Type: Hahnemuhle Copperplate

Soaking Time: 30 min – 1 hour

Press, blanket set up, pressure: Praga press, 2 blankets, 3/8, 3/8

Conclusions: The prints from the 1100 aluminum plates were blotchier and grittier than we expected. Our 15-second etch had patches of light gray tone and all over, along with our 1-minute plate but it was darker gray. Our 5-minute plate was very dark and very gritty. While our 8-minute plate came out the darkest with the best coverage. Which leads us to wonder if the grade of metal matters at all when etching aluminum. It appears to make little difference.

Build-up of crystals in bath.

Expunged copper floating to the surface.

Alum 1100 step test – from left to right: 15 sec, 1 min, 5 min, 8 min.

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