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Lab QA/QC Services
Chemical Etching

Chemical Etching Solutions for Manufacturing Components


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Etch Line Tanks
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Chemical etching services from MISTRAS are utilized to inspect titanium, nickel alloys, and steel alloys components to ensure they meet quality standards. 

Components used in aerospace and defense, infrastructure, automotive, and other manufacturing industries can be exposed to environments that can cause damage over time. Before components are assembled into their final use, it’s important that the individual componentry is inspected for quality assurance purposes to ensure safety and compliance with industry standards.

MISTRAS supports this by providing a range of chemical etching services, including:

  • Nital Etching
  • Macro Etching
  • Pre-Penetrant Testing

When many metal components are manufactured for assembly, individual pieces can have defects that could affect their performance, and potentially lead to operational and safety concerns. Chemical etching helps to identify issues during the inspection process, including defects such as:

  • Cracks
  • Seams
  • Laps
  • Bursts
  • Material segregations
  • Grain size and Grain flow
  • Overheat conditions
  • Other Surface Discontinuities

Each type of etching has its own purpose and method of revealing damage from metal components. The intent is to help components in aerospace and other industries perform to their highest standard of quality. Along with other MISTRAS finishing services, chemical etching solutions have approvals from various corporations and accreditation recognition.

MISTRAS Chemical Etching Services

MISTRAS Chemical Etching services are administered by our team of highly-trained and certified technicians. Our team works to meet established quality standards and meet client needs skillfully. Our etching services include:

Nital Etching

Nital Etching is the ideal form of chemical etching for componentry that may undergo intense heat stress in environments with extreme temperatures. With this form of etching, nitric acid is placed on the metal, revealing damage by coloring defected areas a different, darker color than non-damaged section of the surface. 

Macro Etching 

Macro Etching is also often used for welds.  It gives a look into weld penetration, the structure, and of course damages such as cracks and pores. The cross-section of welds is exposed with this method, making grains visible within the structure.

Pre-Penetrant Testing

Pre-Penetrant Etching prepares metal surfaces for Fluorescent Penetrant Inspection (FPI) by removing a layer of metal. Typically, acid or another solution is added to the component to remove the layer and allow the grain structure within to be analyzed.

MISTRAS Chemical Etching in the Aerospace Industry

With the expansion of the aerospace industry in recent years has come an increased demand for finishing services - and chemical etching, specifically – to inspect parts in the manufacturing process. MISTRAS’ chemical etching services have the ability to streamline and speed up the manufacturing of small-to-medium size components for aircraft due to the rapid nature of the solution and MISTRAS’ integrated, centralized approach to optimize our clients’ production cycles.

Lead times are a priority for our technicians. MISTRAS’ turnaround times for components testing are noted for standing out within the aerospace industry and have even helped customers who are behind schedule catch up on their timelines. Chemical etching along with other value-added services for our aerospace customers help their end-use products such as jet engines and structural components perform to their peak abilities.


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