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Old 11-24-08, 10:46 PM   #1
phantomcow2
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Chemically etching stainless steel

I have some stainless steel water bottles that I'd like label with my name and maybe some sort of a logo (a phantomcow?). My first thought was to make a nice label on the label printer at work. We use the printer to make labels for medical devices, and it's fully capable of making an excellent label for my bottle.

But then there's the fact that I think sanded stainless steel is one of the most attractive finishes the species has conjured up. Much cooler would be to etch my name into these bottles...

-The wall of these bottles is too thick to machine into, otherwise I'd get in contact with someone and use their 4 axis CNC mill to engrave.
-I have a contact who does laser etching, but it would cost me 75 dollars to get the lot done -- far more than I am willing to spend; this exceeds the value of these bottles by several times.
-There's a pad printer at work, which would allow me to make a professional printing on these bottles similar to what came with them. This is not feasible, however, because it requires a lot of setup.

So I've heard that there is a way to chemically etch stainless steel. This would be similar to how I would etch the copper on a PCB. Can somebody comment on this? Is it effective? Does it require chemicals which are difficult to acquire? Does anybody have any experience with this?
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Old 11-24-08, 11:48 PM   #2
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Old 11-24-08, 11:59 PM   #3
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That's a very good idea. I don't own a sandblaster, but I have a contact who does. Some googling indicates that ferric chloride may be able to get this job done, and this is something I can do myself.
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