Macroetching is a procedure for revealing the large-scale structure of a metallic specimen, that is, the structure visible with the unaided eye, by etching an appropriately prepared surface. This article provides information on the basic procedures for macroetching as well as the apparatus used. It discusses selected etchants for efficient macroetching of various metals and their alloys, including iron, steel, high-alloy steels, stainless steels, high-temperature alloys, titanium, titanium alloys, aluminum, aluminum alloys, copper, and copper alloys. The article also describes various conditions that are revealed by the macroetching of aluminum.
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