Etching zirconium with Multi-Etch

Zirconium cube and two zirconium crystal bars. By Alchemist-hp (CC BY-ND 3.0).

Zirconium cube and two zirconium crystal bars. By Alchemist-hp (CC BY-ND 3.0).

How to etch zirconium with Multi-Etch, the safer alternative to hydrofluoric acid

Multi-Etch was originally developed for use on titanium, and is a perfect low-acid (pH 6.8) alternative to hazardous hydrofluoric (HF) acid for etching zirconium

Preparing zirconium for anodizing using Multi‑Etch
ProcessEtch time (minutes)Notes
150–160°F double strength1Slightly better colors
Removing color from zirconium using Multi‑Etch
Note: times are for removing high-voltage green; lower voltage colors will take less time to remove.
ProcessEtch time (minutes)Surface change
150–160°F double strength3Pitted
Etch rates for zirconium using Multi‑Etch
ProcessEtch time (minutes)Etch depth (inches, cumulative total)Surface change
150–160°F double strength
10.00068None
20.00093Trend toward pitting
30.00133Trend toward pitting

Step-by-step guides on etching with Multi-Etch

The guides below demonstrate etching with titanium, but the order of steps are the same for etching zirconium.

Tips and tricks when etching with Multi-Etch

Ordering Multi-Etch

Multi-Etch can be ordered throughout the world! View the list of Multi-Etch retailers.

Questions? You can contact Multi-Etch by phone or email.