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What is an alkaline etch?

Etching aluminum in sodium hydroxide is by far the most common pretreatment for aluminum that is to be anodized. It imparts a matte finish to the end product.

Alkaline etches are also used to strip off anodic coatings. However, under no circumstances should an etch-only finish be used in a finish product because there is no way to prevent the rapid onset of corrosion.

An etch-only finish normally is regarded as an unsightly mess by our customers. It must be anodized immediately upon etching to preserve the uniformly satin appearance imparted by the etch.