Mu-Metal Chemical Etching
Mu-Metal is a Nickel-Iron soft ferromagnetic alloy designed to serve as a low-frequency magnetic shielding material. It features high permeability and is often composed of 80% Nickel, 20% Iron, and small amounts of other metals, depending on the formula and design criteria.
When an externally applied magnetic field is present, Mu-Metal domains magnetically re-align and generate a new external field. The superposition of the two fields results in a lower observed field.
Mu-Metal Chemical Etching
Fotofab’s etching process produces designs that can withstand harsh indoor and outdoor environments. The process uses an acid (Ferric Chloride) to etch the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design or image formed to your project’s specifications.
Characteristics of Mu-Metal
Stronger than pure nickel, Monel alloys are resistant to corrosion by many agents, including rapidly flowing seawater. Other characteristics include:
- High permeability with minimum hysteresis loss, which is ideal for a variety of magnetic shielding applications
- Low reluctance path for magnetic flux, leading to its use in magnetic shields against static or slowly varying magnetic fields
- Low coercivity, near-zero magnetostriction, and significant anisotropic magnetoresistance, which is critical for industrial applications where variable stresses in thin films would otherwise cause a ruinously large variation in magnetic properties
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Acid Etched Mu-Metal Applications
By varying the levels of Nickel, Iron, and other metals in Mu-Metal formulations, the alloy can exhibit differing levels of permeability and magnetic shielding properties. As a result, acid etching of Mu-Metal is used in a variety of applications, including:
- Computer terminals
- Transformer magnetic core
- Telecommunications equipment
- Automotive instrumentation
- Medical diagnostic equipment
- Audio amplifiers
- Performance venue lighting systems
- Linear accelerators
- Magnetic shielding from Mu-Metal works not by blocking magnetic fields but providing a path for the magnetic field lines around the shielded area
- The best shape for shielding applications is a closed container surrounding the shielded space
- The effectiveness of Mu-Metal shielding decreases with the alloy’s permeability, which drops off at both low field strengths and, due to saturation, at high field strengths
- Also known as Hy-Mu 80™ and Permalloy80™