Copper Sulfate – Saline Etch for Aluminum – Test 16: Aluminum 5052 Mirror Step Test

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

Room Temperature: 73*F                                                                    Humidity etc: Slightly Humid

Experiment Title: Aluminum 5052 (mirror) Step Test

Experiment Goal: To analyze and compare the mirror-finish aluminum to see if it will wipe clean, bright white (area will hold no ink) compared to regular 5052 aluminum.

Plate material: Aluminum 5052 Mirror

Plate Preparation: NOT Steel wooled (to avoid scratching the plate), degreased in a soy sauce bath, Bon Ami, then 7th Generation spray, lastly we backed with contact paper.

Evaluation of Plate Preparation: Plate was difficult to degrease without steel wool, so we introduced 7th Generation and a Bon Ami soak to remove the grease, which was successful.

Etching Bath Notes: The bath was still strong and clear after over an hour of etching. The bath is starting to turn a darker green.

Time in bath15 min total (step test – 0 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min, 3 min, 5 min, 8 min, 12 min, 15 min

After Bath Evaluation:  The bath is still turning greenish, but still clear (rather than milky green).

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 catchers, 1/8, 1/8

Conclusions: The step test was successful and the mirror finish held up well during etch. Plate picks up tone quickly at 5 seconds, then darker/mid tones hit around 2-3 minutes. We reach dark blacks at 8 minutes. It’s important not to buff too much in white 0-second sections, palm wipe for best bright whites.

Alum 5052 mirror step test.

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