Engineering and Technical Support Group
School of Information Technology & Electrical Engineering

OH&S Requirements

  1. Ensure you have either completed a Risk Assessment or read (and confirmed as being read) the relevant Risk Assessment before attempting to operate this equipment
  2. The Process ID which refers to the general Risk Assessment regarding activities in the Darkroom / PCB Etching Facility 19251 and addresses the etchants used in conjunction with this equipment
  3. The UQ Risk Management Database is located at:
  4. Visually check the equipment is safe to operate and the electrical safety tag is current.  If expired, the equipment must be tested and tagged before proceeding
  5. Wear safety glasses, gloves and a lab coat before operating this equipment or attempting to top up the etchant
  6. Never attempt to remove either of the machine covers when the machine is operating.  The fume extraction system must be switched on before covers are removed
  7. Clean room protocols apply to the Darkroom / PCB Etching Facility

Pre-Etching Requirements

  1. Ensure there is sufficient Ferric Chloride EEl 51-03-01 in the tank.  As a rule, there should be no more than 3cm between the tank cover and the etchant.  Top up as required.
  2. Ensure the covers are securely located and in the correct position
  3. Ensure the fume extraction system is switched on and running
  4. Set the heater switch to on and adjust the temperature setting to 50 Deg C and wait for etchant to reach it's nominal operating temperature.  This will take approx 1 hour depending on the local ambient temperature.
  5. Once the etchant has reached it's nominal operating temperature switch on the fresh water supply.  The tap (B) is situated on the right hand side of the sink and should be turned to the left and set to approx 11O clock.
  6. Set the spray switch to on
  7. Set the roller switch to on and adjust the speed to the desired setting:
    Recommended settings are as follows:
    • PCB material 97-02-01 :  Set Speed to 1.5
    • PCB material xx-xx-xx :  Set Speed to x.x
    • PCB material xx-xx-xx :  Set Speed to x.x
    • PCB material xx-xx-xx :  Set Speed to x.x
    • PCB material xx-xx-xx :  Set Speed to x.x

Etching Instructions

  1. For soft or flexible substrates attach a piece of FR4 to act as a lead in board before continuing
  2. Carefully insert the board to be etched on the right hand side of the machine.  Boards should be put on the first roller and carefully moved forward until taken up by the second roller
  3. Remove the etched board from the left hand side of the machine and inspect.  If all unwanted copper has not been removed, repeat the process above.
  4. Upon successful completion of the task, turn the water tap (b) to the off position and set the roller and spray switches to the off position.  The heater switch may be left on at the operator's discretion.

Return to Previous Procedure

Return to EEL Standard Procedure > Drilling Options

Shutdown Instructions / End of Day

  1. Ensure the water tap (b) is closed
  2. Ensure all switches are set to off
  3. Ensure the fume extraction system is turned off, unless in use by another operator
  4. The machine is to be thoroughly cleaned and ferric chloride spills removed
  5. Before leaving, please ensure the room is left in a clean and orderly fashion

Additional Information

  1. Refer to Manual K145A.MN1 for servicing and other important information
  2. The manufacturers safety data sheet for ferric chloride EEL 51-03-01 is MSDS018

Amendments to Procedure

Inform the Engineering & Technical Support Manager at the earliest opportunity if this procedure has, or needs to be altered in any way.