Etching aluminum front panels?

Chris Crosskey chrisc at
Sun Mar 9 16:37:07 CET 1997

Martin wrote......

>Very good question indeed.
>It must be possible with the right chemicals (acid, HCl ? or
>NHO3 ? or a mixture of both ? dangerous and toxic !)
>but there is another problem i stumbled about :
>You have to do the photoresist coating of the aluminum
>also at home.

No you don't, Mega Electronics sell a photo-coated aluminium panel 
material. They are on +44 (1223) 893900 if you want to talk to them or 
fax on +44 (1223) 893894. It isn't cheap, but it does look great. I 
can't remember much about it because I gave my catalogue away. They 
also do a replacement for the Dynamark style labels, which also give a 
good result, and is cheaper and doesn't use any chemicals at all, just 

>How can we prevent dust particles from getting in the
>photo coating ? Those particles tend to "suck up" the
>photoresist thus causing ugly holes.
>This happended to my self coated PCBs and the traces
>had "spots".

Be more careful when making PCB's <g> seriously, don't peel off 
the backing film until the last moment, having vacuum-cleaned the 
board and the artwork and the UV box before you start. Leave the 
paint-on-yourslef photoresist for crude things and/or clean-room 
>I guess, a dust free cleanroom is required , or what ?

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