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Heating up Photo-etch?


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Hi Guys,

 

I'm all excited after returning home from the 'Nationals' in Columbus. I'm juiced for some building.

 

I've heard word that some guys heat up (aneal - I don't know how to spell it) their PE sets as a matter of course. I'm wondering what that does to the metal that makes it better? Do you heat it over the flame on your stove? Do you do this both to stainless steel and brass PE? Do you plunge it into cold water or let it cool slowly? Is it best to heat the PE while still in one fret, or do you do the heating when the part is ready for super glue?

 

If anyone knows the thinking behind this technique I wish you'd share.

 

Thank you,

 

Dean

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Annealing PE is done to soften the metal in order to make bending easier. Nickel PE is all I ever really deal with and is harder than brass. I would say it is not needed with brass because of its softer properties but someone with more experience can correct me there. I heat treat over a candle flame one piece at a time as needed. It only takes a second or two for small parts to glow red then let the piece cool naturally. Be aware there will be some part shrinkage in the process.

 

Best of luck with your project.

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Annealing PE is done to soften the metal in order to make bending easier. Nickel PE is all I ever really deal with and is harder than brass. I would say it is not needed with brass because of its softer properties but someone with more experience can correct me there. I heat treat over a candle flame one piece at a time as needed. It only takes a second or two for small parts to glow red then let the piece cool naturally. Be aware there will be some part shrinkage in the process.

 

Best of luck with your project.

 

For brass it is very useful for parts which get rounded, particularly tubes.

Your method, piece by piece over flame, is a good one.

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Annealing PE is done to soften the metal in order to make bending easier. Nickel PE is all I ever really deal with and is harder than brass. I would say it is not needed with brass because of its softer properties but someone with more experience can correct me there. I heat treat over a candle flame one piece at a time as needed. It only takes a second or two for small parts to glow red then let the piece cool naturally. Be aware there will be some part shrinkage in the process.

 

Best of luck with your project.

 

 

Thanks Jay for the information.

 

Looking at your photo album I saw your Ferrari 330. Great model!

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The only time I heat photo etch is to achieve the burnt metal appearance in exhaust assemblies or other areas where heat would effect the actual materials on the prototype. And then I heat it over a candle and usually dip it in water to quick cool it. I do this with either brass copper, or steel.

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I do it for parts that may need to be bent but not retain rigid angles, if you know what I mean. I know it has nothing to do with ships, but the best example would be seat belts. I've got an old 6" cast iron skillet. I put it on the stove, turn the stove on high, put in the photoetch, let it heat till it begins to glow then pull the pan off and let it cool naturally. Slow cooling allows the metal to become more pliable (annealing) whereas heating the metal then plunging into cool water (quenching) reinstates the rigidity of the metal. So, it's useful for some things, not so useful for others. Depends on the degree of pliability you need. And yeah, it's great for adding that burnt metal look.

 

Steve

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Be very careful heating brass PE. In the smaller scales, the finer parts could disappear into blobs of melted metal. And yes, to complete the anealing, you should quickly cool the piece. Easiest way is stick it in water.

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Annealing, in metallurgy and materials science, is a heat treatment wherein a material is altered, causing changes in its properties such as strength and hardness. It is a process that produces conditions by heating to above the re-crystallization temperature and maintaining a suitable temperature, and then cooling. Annealing is used to induce ductility, soften material, relieve internal stresses, refine the structure by making it homogeneous, and improve cold working properties.

 

In the cases of copper, steel, silver, and brass this process is performed by substantially heating the material (generally until glowing) for a while and allowing it to cool slowly. In this fashion the metal is softened and prepared for further work such as shaping, stamping, or forming. It also presents no problem with decarburization.

 

Note the emphasis is on slow cooling, not quenching. Quenching will surface harden the material, and in the case of PE (of whaever material) because it's so thin, will harden it completely through. This can be a good thing, but not before you try to form it. It will be very brittle and will break before it bends.

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Be very careful heating brass PE. In the smaller scales, the finer parts could disappear into blobs of melted metal.

 

Especially with 1/700 parts! :smiley19:

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