Nickel Silver Chemical Etching

Nickel Silver is an electronic-grade alloy with high thermal and electrical conductivity characteristics. Despite the alloy’s name and shiny appearance, it contains no Silver.

Nickel Silver Chemical Etching

Primarily comprised of CopperNickel, and Zinc, Nickel Silver is hard, malleable, ductile, corrosion-resistant, and non-magnetic. The usual formulation is 60% Copper, 20% Nickel, and 20% Zinc. The alloy we most often use is Alloy 770 (55% Cu, 18% Ni, 27% Zi).

Fotofab’s chemical etching process produces designs that can withstand harsh indoor and outdoor environments. The process uses an acid (Ferric Chloride) to etch into unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design or image formed to your project’s specifications.

Characteristics of Nickel Silver

  • Silvery-white color
  • Hard, malleable, ductile, and nonmagnetic
  • Anti-galling properties
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Excellent cryogenic performance

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Nickel Silver Chemical Etching Applications

By varying the levels of Copper, Nickel, Zinc and other metals in Nickel Silver formulations, the alloy can exhibit differing levels of electrical conductivity, corrosion resistance, and appearance. As a result, Nickel Silver is used in a variety of applications, including:

  • Jewelry
  • Audio components
  • Marine fittings
  • Anodes
  • Food and sanitation fittings

Other Factors

  • When exposed to oxygen for long time periods, Nickel Silver develops a protective oxide or patina that turns brownish-green
  • Ideal for welding and soldering with the addition of lead
  • All modern, commercially important Nickel Silvers (such as those standardized ASTM B 122) contain significant amounts of Zinc and are sometimes considered a subset of Brass
  • Also known as Maillechort, German Silver, Argentan, New Silver, Nickel Brass, Albata, and Alpacca

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