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PICList Thread
'[EE]: Ferric chloride sludge'
2004\09\07@121436 by Philip Pemberton

face picon face
Hi,
 I've got a batch of ferric chloride PCB etchant here that seems to be on
its last legs. Instead of the normal almost-clear yellow-brown, it's now a
cloudy green-brown with a thick layer of rust-brown sludge in the bottom of
the container. It also takes around 40 minutes to etch a double-sided 1x2"
PCB (1oz copper coating).
 What should I do about this sludge - leave it? I was thinking about pouring
the FeCl into an etch tray, wiping/scraping out the sludge and goop, then
replacing the etchant.
 I seem to remember there being some talk on the PICLIST about regenerating
spent ferric chloride using a pair of iron nails and a variable-voltage power
supply (i.e. electrolysis/electroplating). Has anyone tried that trick? Does
it work? I guess I'd probably need to add some 5% hydrochloric acid after
regenning the etchant, though. HCl does seem to be rather hard to get in the
UK, though...
 I've also read about an etch bath based on cupric chloride - it's mentioned
in the book "Electronic Prototype Construction" by Stephen Kasten (ISBN
0-672-21895-X, published by Sams). Has anyone tried etching PCBs with CuCl?

Later.
--
Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
spam_OUTphilpemTakeThisOuTspamdsl.pipex.com              | ViewFinder, 10BaseT Ethernet, 2-slice,
http://www.philpem.dsl.pipex.com/  | 48xCD, ARCINv6c IDE, SCSI
For sale: Politician's brain. Never used.
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2004\09\07@133822 by Matt Redmond

picon face
Here in the U.S. you can buy 34% HCl as 'muriatic acid' for acidifying swimming pool water.   It is also used as a "chemical of last resort" for masonry cleaning.  It is widely available at hardware stores and pool supply companies - you might ask around.  Pay attention to anything that might be addedto it though.  I'm sure it is mostly/all water, but double-check.


>>I guess I'd probably need to add some 5% hydrochloric acid after regenning the etchant, though. HCl does seem to be rather hard to get in the UK, though...<<



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2004\09\07@161641 by hilip Stortz

picon face
in particular, there's a "safe" version of it that has something added
so it doesn't attack skin as much, and probably generally reduces it's
activity.  i'm sorry to hear that something as basic as hcl is hard to
get in the u.k., in the u.s. you can easily get nearly any chemical you
want, and i think that's a good thing (well, other than in texas, where
you need a license for "chemical glassware", things like beakers, it's
supposed to slow down drug labs, yeah, right, like most drug synthesis
requires anything that fancy, and for those things ordering the
chemicals is likely to get you some attention.  morons, just another law
that makes it very hard for the independent inventor).  
you should also properly dispose of that etchant sludge, copper is very
toxic to fish, even at part per million levels it kills hatchlings, and
it's really not good for anything.

/rant on i have catalogs from several chemical companies, and i've
ordered from some of them a couple of times for odds and ends.  i think
it's a good thing, and i think people should be responsible, now if you
are setting up a major lab, you should definitely have the appropriate
safety gear, whether it's commercial yet or not.  obviously, paranoia
and foolishness about drug labs and explosives have made silly laws in a
number of countries, sadly they rarely do any good and often do harm
(making it harder for people to get nitrates for explosives back fired
nicely, terrorist just switched to chlorine based compounds, which are
more powerful, less stable, and smell different so you have to retrain
the dogs.  you can't control the chemicals used to make black powder,
carbon is easy, sulfur is pretty easy, and nitrate can be had the
traditional way, from pig manure, or most other manure, but that's OT.).
for that matter, most manure can be used as a low explosive as is,
ranchers sometimes use a cow pie and a blasting cap to split boulders
(it will also show up at the security theater at the airport if it's on
your shoes).

Matt Redmond wrote:
>
> Here in the U.S. you can buy 34% HCl as 'muriatic acid' for acidifying swimming pool water.   It is also used as a "chemical of last resort" for masonry cleaning.  It is widely available at hardware stores and pool supply companies - you might ask around.  Pay attention to anything that might be addedto it though.  I'm sure it is mostly/all water, but double-check.
-----

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\07@171747 by Mike Harrison

flavicon
face
On Tue, 07 Sep 2004 14:18:13 -0600, you wrote:

>in particular, there's a "safe" version of it that has something added
>so it doesn't attack skin as much, and probably generally reduces it's
>activity.  i'm sorry to hear that something as basic as hcl is hard to
>get in the u.k.,

HCL is no problem - go to a hardware store an ask for 'spirit of salts' -this is pretty strong HCl




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2004\09\07@182908 by Philip Pemberton

face picon face
In message <.....413E1760.2B9FBB92KILLspamspam@spam@earthlink.net>
         Philip Stortz <madscientist.at.largespamKILLspamearthlink.net> wrote:

> in particular, there's a "safe" version of it that has something added
> so it doesn't attack skin as much, and probably generally reduces it's
> activity.  i'm sorry to hear that something as basic as hcl is hard to
> get in the u.k., in the u.s. you can easily get nearly any chemical you
> want, and i think that's a good thing (well, other than in texas, where
> you need a license for "chemical glassware", things like beakers, it's
> supposed to slow down drug labs, yeah, right, like most drug synthesis
> requires anything that fancy, and for those things ordering the
> chemicals is likely to get you some attention.  morons, just another law
> that makes it very hard for the independent inventor).  


> you should also properly dispose of that etchant sludge, copper is very
> toxic to fish, even at part per million levels it kills hatchlings, and
> it's really not good for anything.

Should I just use the "mix it with water and Plaster of Paris" trick, i.e.
turn the sludge into a solid lump, then dispose of it in the normal rubbish?
That's the response I got off the company that sold me the etchant, anyway.

> /rant on i have catalogs from several chemical companies, and i've
> ordered from some of them a couple of times for odds and ends.  i think
> it's a good thing, and i think people should be responsible, now if you
> are setting up a major lab, you should definitely have the appropriate
> safety gear, whether it's commercial yet or not.  obviously, paranoia
> and foolishness about drug labs and explosives have made silly laws in a
> number of countries, sadly they rarely do any good and often do harm

I tried to order 90% pure IPA through a chemical supplier. I got a call back
half an hour later:
"Hi, it's **** from ******, I need proof that you're licensed to handle
hazardous chemicals"
"Huh?"
"Yeah, you ordered some electronics grade isopropyl alcohol..."
"Yep."
"Well, I'm not supposed to tell you this, but due to its use in the
manufacture of illegal substances, we can't sell it to anyone who doesn't
have a hazardous chemicals handling license. In addition, we need a headed
letter and a company name/address"

Bear in mind this is a chemical that is routinely sold by electronics supply
houses all over the world as a cleaning solvent...

>  for that matter, most manure can be used as a low explosive as is,
> ranchers sometimes use a cow pie and a blasting cap to split boulders
> (it will also show up at the security theater at the airport if it's on
> your shoes).

LOL!
I just watched a documentary on BBC1 - "Whistleblower". They sent an
undercover reporter to do some security work at Manchester Airport (scanning
bags, the usual). They managed to get video evidence of search records being
falsified, management staff encouraging the falsification of documents, and
so forth. On one occasion only three bags were (allegedly) searched - out of
the bags of 1,000 passengers. So that's, what, 0.15%?

The chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Bruce Schneier's written a book on evaluating security measures, picking them
apart, and such - it's called "Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security
in an Uncertain World". A very good read - IIRC the paperback version's out
now (I got the hardback version just after it was released).

Later.
--
Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
.....philpemKILLspamspam.....dsl.pipex.com              | ViewFinder, 10BaseT Ethernet, 2-slice,
http://www.philpem.dsl.pipex.com/  | 48xCD, ARCINv6c IDE, SCSI
.... I appreciate your not breathing while I smoke.
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2004\09\11@225841 by hilip Stortz

picon face
by the way, etiquette requires that you take complaints up directly with
those who've offended you, or with them and the nanny, rather than
public name calling which should be a last resort.  i've hardly earned
it, though perhaps others have.  again, tolerance, and learning how to
use the delete key go a very, very long way.  for the record, i always
respond to nanny messages immediately, though it's rarely been
necessary, when it has it's usually been because people are so offended
by my point of view, often in my sig lines, that they lose the power of
rational thought, often making absurd comparisons.

fred jones wrote:
>
> You know Olin, sometimes as topics vary from the original intent of the
> thread, people forget or don't think to change the tag.  Try to be more
----

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\12@001449 by hilip Stortz

picon face
chemical availability, is definitely related, as are the reasons they
are getting harder to find, and the reasons for my argument. additionally, etiquette suggest contacting people directly when you have
a complaint, or contacting them and the list nanny, on list name calling
is not appropriate, keep your disputes offlist.  and thank you for using
the word "crap", my, we must have thin skin indeed, i'll try and make my
words less threatening to the delete key and tolerance challenged (to be pc).

Olin Lathrop wrote:
>
> Philip Stortz wrote:
> > geez, by who?  ether is traditional for such things...
> > <Remainder to purely political rant snipped>.
>
> I didn't see anything EE related here.  I'm not saying I agree or disagree,
> only that I really don't care what you think and don't want to read about it
> on the PIClist.  Take this crap off list or to OT.
---------

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.



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