2% HF (Alpha Case)

  • ASTM formula 11, attacks FeAl3, other constituents outlined. It contains hydrofluoric acid as the name implies.

AWS D1.2 Basic Etchant

  • A macro etchant for visual inspection of aluminum, listed in AWS welding code, two times faster than the Caustic Etching Solution below. It contains no hydrofluoric acid.

Barker’s Reagent

  • ASTM formula 5, an electrolyte for electrolytic etching pure aluminum, 1000, 3000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 series. Need a polarized light microscope to see the result.

Caustic Etching Solution

  • ASTM formula 177, a macro etchant for visual inspection of aluminum welds. It contains no hydrofluoric acid.

Keller’s Reagent

  • ASTM formula 3, the most popular general-purpose micro etchant for aluminum alloys, shows microstructure and grains. It contains hydrofluoric acid.


  • Special mixes for jet engine inspection/ repair.

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