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Thread: Question about PCB etching

  1. #1

    Exclamation Question about PCB etching

    I have an idea for an art project. I just want to know what'll happen if I mask a photosensitive PCB (a big one) with my own exposure map printed on acetate, then use developer to wash away the exposed parts, clean, lacquer over and try to sell it. A two colour green and copper picture
    All I'm worried about is tarnishing and/or exposure to sunlight.

    I got the idea from watching this video, if it embeds properly,
    Here's the link anyway
    What I want is exactly what he's got but at least A3 size, there are plenty of suppliers, the problem is since it hasn't been done before (and this is exactly the reason to do it) will it actually work?
    I know the lacquer will protect the copper, What do I have to do so that the resist is ok over time?
    I'm working on a complicated exposure 2D map and its gonna look pretty cool if it all comes together

    I'd greatly appreciate any thoughts anybody has.
    If you'd like to see the stuff I've done already visit this page

  2. #2
    High-tech Redneck crazybillybob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Currently Homeless

    Default Re: Question about PCB etching

    Once the board is etched all you need is a coating the will keep oxygen from getting to the copper.... The green tarnish is just oxidation of the copper.

    Clear coat enamel or lacquer will protect the copper. Once exposed to light and developed the resist is pretty stable.... But if it was going to be exposed to bright light or direct sun light you should us a clear coating the has a UV blocking component. This will slow the any degradation but if it is going to be installed out side..... you may want to silk screen over the resist as eventually it would most likely break down.

    Hope this Helps,


  3. #3

    Default Re: Question about PCB etching

    Thank you, that's exactly what I wanted to know. It wouldn't have to stand up to harsh weather. If it can survive as much as a pencil drawing or painting can that'll be more than enough. I was thinking of using a good marine varnish from a spray can after about 15 minutes of shaking but any other ideas are welcome.

  4. #4
    Fresh Paint
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Re: Question about PCB etching

    After Etching you can Apply some kind of Platting as well ; that will greatly decrease environmental effects on your artwork ! Two environmental factors can cause defects in PCB's : 1 - Oxygen with moisture content 2 - Direct Sunlight Exposure.
    If your board is having high reflection index ( Tin Platted ! ) most of the sunlight will be just reflected back .. in addition to it also use some good varnish to with stand oxygen ( moisture )

    prototype pcb assembly
    Last edited by pcbman; 10-04-2012 at 11:23 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Question about PCB etching

    I agree With Michael, Great Idea to invent new think with photosensitive PCB.

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