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Dissolving paper? (toner transfer process)

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  • daviddmcnab
    Hi, Can anyone suggest any chemicals which can dissolve paper fragments from a toner-transferred board without damaging the toner deposits or eating into the
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 30, 2006
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      Hi,

      Can anyone suggest any chemicals which can dissolve paper fragments
      from a toner-transferred board without damaging the toner deposits or
      eating into the exposed copper?

      Background:

      After some experimentation with thermal toner transfer technique, I've
      been getting the best and most reproducible PCB artwork results by:

      1) Laser-printing the artwork onto glossy inkjet paper (this gets me
      good quality image transfer - 'time magazine' glossy paper tends to
      distort the image)
      2) Putting paper onto board, for 10 passes through laminator
      3) Soaking paper+board in warm water
      4) Peeling off the bulk of the paper (some remains stuck to board)
      5) Removing remaining paper fragments by gently rubbing board with
      fingers under water
      6) Using a head-magnifier and a fine knife, carefully picking off tiny
      remaining fragments of paper, taking care not to damage toner deposits
      7) Etching in FeCl
      8) Removing toner with acetone

      Biggest problem I'm having is with steps 5-6. This is a time-consuming
      process. If there was a way to get the paper off fairly quickly,
      without damaging toner or copper, that would be great.

      Thanks in advance for any help

      Cheers
      David
    • William Carr
      ... Have you tried DMSO? Of course, I haven t, so I wouldn t know if it would loosen the toner. I thought of it because it s a solvent that s a waste product
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 31, 2006
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        On Dec 31, 2006, at 1:12 AM, daviddmcnab wrote:

        > Can anyone suggest any chemicals which can dissolve paper fragments
        > from a toner-transferred board without damaging the toner deposits or
        > eating into the exposed copper?


        Have you tried DMSO? Of course, I haven't, so I wouldn't know if it
        would loosen the toner.

        I thought of it because it's a solvent that's a waste product in
        paper manufacture.


        Other than DMSO I'd think you might try an enzymatic cleaner to break
        up the paper fibers.


        William

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Stefan Trethan
        On Sun, 31 Dec 2006 07:12:45 +0100, daviddmcnab ... If your toner is stuck well you can engage in step 5 quite vigorously which will
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 31, 2006
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          On Sun, 31 Dec 2006 07:12:45 +0100, daviddmcnab <david@...>
          wrote:

          > 2) Putting paper onto board, for 10 passes through laminator
          > 3) Soaking paper+board in warm water
          > 4) Peeling off the bulk of the paper (some remains stuck to board)
          > 5) Removing remaining paper fragments by gently rubbing board with
          > fingers under water
          > 6) Using a head-magnifier and a fine knife, carefully picking off tiny
          > remaining fragments of paper, taking care not to damage toner deposits
          > 7) Etching in FeCl
          > 8) Removing toner with acetone
          > Biggest problem I'm having is with steps 5-6. This is a time-consuming
          > process. If there was a way to get the paper off fairly quickly,
          > without damaging toner or copper, that would be great.
          > Thanks in advance for any help
          > Cheers
          > David


          If your toner is stuck well you can engage in step 5 quite vigorously
          which will eliminate step 6. In order to reduce wear to your fingers you
          can use some aid, like a piece of plastic foam, or even a rag. After
          peeling/rolling the bulk of the paper off i will rub the board with a foam
          piece, dipping it into water from time to time. When i feel confident that
          the paper should be gone i dip it again to rinse, and then dry it (wipe
          with a towel and wave it around or put on still hot fuser). The drying
          makes any remaining paper very obvious because it turns white. Such spots
          are rubbed again, either with a finger or the sponge, adding a little
          water, until all paper is cleared.

          This all should take no more than a minute or so. If your toner is not
          stuck well enough to rub with significant force, then that's your problem.

          ST
        • Myc Holmes
          Try soaking in a little automatic dishwasher detergent. It is very caustic and loosens the paper nicely. ... [Non-text portions of this message have been
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 31, 2006
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            Try soaking in a little automatic dishwasher detergent. It is very caustic
            and loosens the paper nicely.



            On 12/31/06, daviddmcnab <david@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi,
            >
            > Can anyone suggest any chemicals which can dissolve paper fragments
            > from a toner-transferred board without damaging the toner deposits or
            > eating into the exposed copper?
            >
            > Background:
            >
            > After some experimentation with thermal toner transfer technique, I've
            > been getting the best and most reproducible PCB artwork results by:
            >
            > 1) Laser-printing the artwork onto glossy inkjet paper (this gets me
            > good quality image transfer - 'time magazine' glossy paper tends to
            > distort the image)
            > 2) Putting paper onto board, for 10 passes through laminator
            > 3) Soaking paper+board in warm water
            > 4) Peeling off the bulk of the paper (some remains stuck to board)
            > 5) Removing remaining paper fragments by gently rubbing board with
            > fingers under water
            > 6) Using a head-magnifier and a fine knife, carefully picking off tiny
            > remaining fragments of paper, taking care not to damage toner deposits
            > 7) Etching in FeCl
            > 8) Removing toner with acetone
            >
            > Biggest problem I'm having is with steps 5-6. This is a time-consuming
            > process. If there was a way to get the paper off fairly quickly,
            > without damaging toner or copper, that would be great.
            >
            > Thanks in advance for any help
            >
            > Cheers
            > David
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • scratch_6057
            ... or ... David, While I would not expect it to dissolve paper, you might give consideration to using a mildly abrasive Tooth Paste and a soft bristle tooth
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 31, 2006
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              --- In Homebrew_PCBs@yahoogroups.com, "daviddmcnab" <david@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi,
              >
              > Can anyone suggest any chemicals which can dissolve paper fragments
              > from a toner-transferred board without damaging the toner deposits
              or
              > eating into the exposed copper?
              > (snip)


              David,

              While I would not expect it to dissolve paper, you might
              give consideration to using a mildly abrasive Tooth Paste
              and a soft bristle tooth brush. Scrub in a circular motion.

              I have not tried this my self as it just occurred to me, but the
              Toner Transfer is basically a plastic which I think should
              withstand the scrubbing for a lot longer than the paper fibers.

              I suggest using a soft bristle brush because I think the bristles
              would be more likely to flex and bend over instead of possibly
              gouging into the edges of the traces and pads as harder, stiffer
              bristles may tend to do.

              BTW there are starch based disolvable papers out there,
              see my post on the subject "Water Soluble Paper "

              ( http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Homebrew_PCBs/message/11416 )
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