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How to remove copper from carbon steel substrate?

How to remove copper from carbon steel substrate?

How to remove copper from carbon steel substrate?

(OP)
What is the best solution (acid or otherwise) to remove copper deposits a mild steel without affecting the substrate underneath?  

RE: How to remove copper from carbon steel substrate?

An interesting problem because it is generally recognized that copper is much more corrosion resistant than iron.

One possibility might be to use a nitric acid solution sufficiently strong to passivate the iron but attack the copper.

Other possibilities:
   hydrocyanic acid (ugh!)
   hot isopropyl acid
   metallic mercury (probably your best bet).

RE: How to remove copper from carbon steel substrate?

Copper is soluble in ammonia solutions and carbon steel is not.  I would expect a 10- 15 % solution of ammonium hydroxide in water at about 70C to give reasonbly good copper removal efficiency.  Let us know what you decide.

RE: How to remove copper from carbon steel substrate?

Ferric chloride is used to etch copper from circuit boards but I have no idea how it will affect the steel.

RE: How to remove copper from carbon steel substrate?

Ferric Chloride is nasty stuff.  It will attack most metals including Cu and Fe at a large range of concentrations.

Tim

RE: How to remove copper from carbon steel substrate?

(Vijay Cor Eng)

Etch blast the surface with fine garnet you can remove the copper as well as polish the surface.

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