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
Process Etch time (minutes) Notes
150–160°F double strength 1 Slightly 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.
Process Etch time (minutes) Surface change
150–160°F double strength 3 Pitted
Etch rates for zirconium using Multi‑Etch
Process Etch time (minutes) Etch depth (inches, cumulative total) Surface change
150–160°F double strength
1 0.00068 None
2 0.00093 Trend toward pitting
3 0.00133 Trend 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.