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Old 9th April 2013, 11:42 PM   #1
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Post Etching Aluminium on thin Mylar

I have been on a DYI mission for sometime to create my own headphone/small speaker driver. The driver will be planar magnetic and I have all the necessary components, however I do not have the knowledge for etching Aluminium on really thin mylar (6 um). Has anyone got experience with this?
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Old 10th April 2013, 07:53 PM   #2
oshifis is offline oshifis  Hungary
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Diluted Sodium hydroxyde (NaOH) can be used for etching aluminium. I have a pair of Technics EAH-820 ortodynamic headphones with one side broken, that I tried to repair. My problem is that I could not do photocopying on the aluminium. Perhaps I will try again with a laser printer. Here are some more threads on it:
How to repair fine traces?
Technics EAH-830
DIY Orthodynamic drivers? (for headphones!)
At the end I bought another pair for really cheap, and I am happy with them
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Old 10th April 2013, 08:28 PM   #3
Elvee is offline Elvee  Belgium
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Most acid and bases do attack aluminum, including NaOH, but since the developer for photo-lithographic lacquers happens to be similar, it is probably not a good idea to use that one, unless you use a negative resin (xylene developer).

I suggest you post your question on a specialized chemistry forum, they will give you more pertinent answers.
I am pretty sure that you can etch aluminum with acetic, hydrochloric or nitric acid, including mixtures, plus salts like iron sulfate but the devil is in the details: how clean and sharp will it be, how fast, what is the optimum temperature etc.

Unless you are ready to spend hours experimenting, it is probably more sensible to ask the experts directly
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Old 11th April 2013, 02:28 PM   #4
oshifis is offline oshifis  Hungary
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Agreed. I have experience with the Positiv 20 from Kontakt Chemie, and here the illuminated photoresist can be removed with NaOH. Fortunately that part of the aluminium should be etched, too...
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Old 12th April 2013, 10:20 PM   #5
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I have spoken to a few chemists, most of them do not have experience with this but do have theoretical solutions which will require trial and error experiments on the mylar.
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Old 13th April 2013, 07:05 AM   #6
Elvee is offline Elvee  Belgium
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You can try to duplicate the recipe of commercials products, when it is published.
This one uses a mixture of phosphoric, nitric and acetic acids with water.
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Old 16th April 2013, 09:47 PM   #7
ilardi is offline ilardi  United States
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A very safe, photoresist friendly etchant is described at this website. http://www.uic.edu/sph/glakes/harts1...y/Semenoff.txt This is an acid based system so it does not attack the photoresist.

I have used this successfully on several projects. You can use standard PCB techniques and get very good results.
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