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 darker than the surrounding area 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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