Nital Etch Test

Nital Solution is a mixture of nitric acid and alcohol commonly used for etching steels. It is especially suitable for revealing the micro-structure of carbon steels. Nitric acid is a strong oxidizer, and alcohol is a fuel. Mixing them together can be potentially dangerous if you don't have the proper knowledge or equipment to do so. Our pre-mixed, ready-to-use Nital solutions are made with methanol, they are very stable and not liable to explosion. We do not sell any Nital stronger than 5% (such as 10% Nital) for safety reasons.

Nital Etch Test is a procedure for checking machining damage or grinding burn of a hardened steel component. It's also known as Temper Etch test, Nital inspection test, Nital NDT, MIL-STD-867C, AMS 2649C, etc. Machining or grinding can introduce a tremendous amount of heat into a steel component. If an area of the component is not cooled properly by a water jet, it will overheat. This can produce undesirable changes in the steel's properties. An overheated area (over-tempered area); may not have any visible burn marks, but it can be identified using the Nital etch test. The overheated area will appear in a different color than the surroundings after the test.

Nital Etch Test is a non-destructive surface test, NOT a weld penetration test. For welding related products, please click here


A typical Nital etch test procedure is here.

Our Nital etch test products are below:

• 5% Nital solution.

• Hydrochloric acid solution, for de-smutting.

• Acid neutralizer, for neutralizing acidic residuals on the sample's surface.

• Nital test kit (contains the above 3).

• Lab tongs, PTFE coated, for dipping the sample into acids.

• We also have 2% and 3% Nital solutions for metallographic applications.

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