My father was approached about doing some kind of etching on aluminum for the outside of a building. This is for the outside of a fire station (6' X80' in 3' wide panels 1/8" thick).
Me - being the computer person, I did some research about blackening aluminum and ran across an article written several years ago from this newsgroup. The aluminum was dipped in a solution of Nitric Acid, Copper Nitrate, and Potassium Permanganate and water. The reason I looked for blackening aluminum is because I believe there needs to be some contrast for the etching to show up.
With doing large panels, I'd want them to be a consistent color. My dad owns a monument business and so owns sandblast equipment. There is a process of etching which sandblasts a half-tone mask applied to stone. We are also aware of a laser etching process which burns an etch with a laser. The first thing I'm not sure about is how thick this blackening is on the aluminum. So if a laser etch etched the aluminum, would it burn through the blackening? As we are experienced with stone but not with aluminum, we need any kind of basic advice which you can offer.
Is this feasible?
Is there a better way that you are aware of, or a place you can lead me?
thanks, James Deckert