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Posted on 16 Sep 2019

A Mini Guide to Chemical Etching

Selection of right methodology to process the metal is not an intuitive thing to do. There is some technical knowledge required, so it should be done by the experts in the field. If Chemical Etching Services are not used, then the alternative is the stamping technique. One might think that wherever more precision required, chemical etching should be the choice. But, the choice of technology greatly depends on what kind of metal is being processed. The thickness of the metal, the kind of cut which is required and also the speed of manufacturing will also affect the decision of which process to use for manufacturing metal parts. Another set of major decisive factor includes cost per unit and the overall required standard of quality. Sometimes, manufacturers who are into chemical etching services keep different varieties and qualities of the parts and let the customer decide on what they would want. 



Chemical etching is one of the methods which is used to process the metal. It leads to the production of metal parts which are flat and do not contain ‘stress’ in it. This methodology uses a mask which is photo-resistant. Basically, this is process is suitable for the production of parts which require great precision. Some of the examples of such components or parts are meshes, grids, lead frames, fuel cell (bipolar), heat exchangers, springs, gaskets, washers etc. Other parts include those which are used for automotive-like interior trims



Benefits of Chemical Etching:



The major benefit of chemical etching is the production of finer details as compared to other processes like stamping. This process also leads to minimum or no depreciation or deformation of the raw material (metal sheets) during the process of etching. Even the chances of any defects or burrs are greatly reduced if this technology is used. The overall failure ratio is negligible which is not the case in the stamping process. The parts which are manufactured in this process will lead to flat outputs which is what is required in some places. There are many manufacturers who provide services in the UK for chemical etching, but One to One Engravers Ltd stands out for their high quality chemical etching services. 



The process of Etching:




  1. The processing starts with a sheet of metal. First of all, it is cleaned. After that, it is laminated with a photo-resistant mask. It is basically a polymer which is sensitive to the light. 

  2. Ultra Violet light is thrown at the polymer used in the previous step. With the help of UV-light, a CAD image of the component is made. 

  3. The part of the mask which was not exposed to the UV light will be removed. When this will be done, the raw material will be seen. 

  4. A spray of etchant chemistry will be showered over the metal sheet. This will help in removing the part of the metal which is unprotected.

  5. The leftovers of the photoresist will be stripped which will finally show up the etched component.

  6. The knowledge of the process will help you in connecting with the manufacturers who provide chemical etching services.