Select your language:
English Deutsch Français Español Nederlands

Instructions for etching titanium with Titan-Etch

Please follow these instructions carefully to make sure the etching process is safe and effective.


Cleaning and contamination

Titan-etch will react with many substances, even if those substances cannot be seen with your naked eye. Most problems with etching and anodizing occur when Titan-Etch reacts with substances that it is not supposed to react with. This can, for example, result in unusual reactions during the etching process, discoloration of the etching solution, inefficient reaction or spots appearing on the titanium (after anodizing). In order to prevent these problems, it's important to use new or thoroughly cleaned storage containers and equipment. During cleaning wear latex, nitrile or vinyl gloves. Also remember that your titanium parts must also be thoroughly cleaned before etching. An ultrasonic sonic cleaner can be used, but in addiction it's also recommended to clean the part with hot water, degreaser/soap and a sponge. After cleaning, do not forget to rinse your part in clean (distilled) water.

Warm or Cold etching?

Titanium can be etched either warm or cold: Warm etching is the recommended method and is described below. It will produce the most reliable, consistent and fastests results. Cold etching does not require heating equipment, but results can be less consistent. Read the instructions for cold etching if you want to try this method.

Supplies & Equipment

Please note: Do not use any materials other than plastic or titanium (e.g. glass and metals) for handling and storing Titan-etch. If you do, your etching bath will become contaminated and loses its effectiveness.

Preparing the Titan-Etch solution

Titan-Etch must be dissolved in distilled water to produce the etchant (etching solution). Use the entire 250g or 500g jar/pouch of Titan-Etch when mixing it with distilled water, for the solid ingredients of Titan-etch (crystals) do not mix homogeneously, resulting in an ineffective solution if only part of the Titan-etch crystals are used.

Please note: the following instructions are based on the use of 250g Titan-Etch. For the 500g pouches/jars of Titan-Etch simply double the amounts of distilled water and Titan-Etch listed below.

The Etching setup

Extracting the etchant

Activating the etchant

Reaction time

The reaction time (time your parts need to be submerged in the etchant) ranges from 10 seconds to a couple of minutes. The goal is to try and find an optimal reaction time. You should be able to visually see the titanium part change to a different shade/tint while in the etching bath. Grade5 titanium will for example get a slightly darker shade and duller look during the etching process. The optimal reaction time produces good coloring during anodising while retaining the original polish or finish of your part. If you're not able to anodise your titanium part to all the colors of the spectrum, your reaction time is likely too short. A insufficient reaction time can result in spots appearing on the titanium, while an overextended reaction time can result in a matte or dull finish. If you found a reasonable starting point, optimize the process by increasing/decreasing the reaction time using small increments. It's advised to perform initial test cycles with sample pieces of titanium and see which reaction times and etching conditions work best for your parts. Fresh solutions usually have much longer reaction times than used solutions(the solution will increase in effectiveness after each etching cycle). The other important factor that determines reaction time is temperature. If you have a good understanding of the factors that determine reaction time, you are ready to start the etching procedure described below.

Etching Preparations

The Etching procedure

The picture on the right provides a visual indication for when your (grade 5/Ti6Al4V) titanium is ready for anodising:
1. Not etched.
2. Reation time too short.
3. Ready for anodising.
4. Reaction time too long.

We hope these instructions where helpful. Feel free to request further information on the etching processes.