Hydrofluoric acid attacks the silicon oxide in most types of glass. It also dissolves many metals (not nickel or its alloys, gold, platinum, or silver), and most plastics. Fluorocarbons such as Teflon (TFE and FEP), chlorosulfonated polyethylenene, natural rubber and neoprene all are resistant to hydrofluoric acid. Hydrofluoric acid is so corrosive because the fluorine ion is highly reactive. Even so, it is not a 'strong' acid because it does not completely dissociate in water.
I'm surprised Walt settled on hydrofluoric acid for his body-disposal plan, when the well-known method for dissolving... um... flesh... is to use a base rather than an acid. A mixture of sodium hydroxide (lye) with water can be used to liquefy dead animals such as farm animals or roadkill (with obvious extensions to victims of crime). The carcass is reduced to a brownish sludge, leaving only brittle bones. Lye is used to remove clogs in drains so it could have been poured into a bathtub and rinsed away, plus it is much more readily available than hydrofluoric acid. The fumes from reacting large quantities of either hydrofluoric acid or sodium hydroxide would have been overwhelming to our buddies from Breaking Bad.
What Is the Strongest Acid? | Common Acids Quiz
Photo: Chemist with a gun but no pants, in the pilot episode of the AMC drama Breaking Bad. (Doug Hyun/AMC)