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People often get confused between etching and engraving. Some tend to interchange them for one another. However, the terms are not synonymous. They have a different meaning and a different technology is used for etching than engraving. It is essential to understand the difference between the two so that they can be righteously used for a project under consideration.
When a material's surface is cut into a deep cavity to display a name, address, logo, graphic, or any other desired message, it is called engraving or laser engraving. But if only a top layer of the material is swept away(melted) by laser beam without cutting it deep then the method is called etching or laser etching. Chemical etching can be called a subset of laser engraving. In the process of engraving, high laser heat is passed through machines over the material's surface to create a groove on the material's surface by vaporizing the material. Powerful machines are required for the purpose. While less powerful machines are used for etching as only a fraction of heat for cutting is required here in comparison with engraving. An engraver directly cuts lines into the material using sharp tools in contrast with the etcher which uses acid to burn lines into the material. Thus, engraving is a physical process whereas etching is a chemical process. Along with so many differences between etching and engraving, there is a similarity between the two i.e. both the methods are capable of cutting lines into a hard surface like metal.
If you are unable to decide that whether you want to seek laser engraving in UK or chemical etching service in UK for your requirements then have a look at the benefits of both the processes which will help you decide the perfect solution for your purpose:
Benefits of Engraving:
1. The desired depth of the cavity can be achieved by giving multiple laser-passes to the material. The depth can range between 0.02″ in metals to 0.125″ in harder materials.
2. The cavity created in the surface by engraving is noticeable not only by the eyes but by touch as well.
3. Engraving can be successfully done on various materials like metal, plastic, acrylic, glass, wood, leather, etc.
4. It is a quick process in which high heat created by laser evaporates the material with each pulse. So, you can receive your output soon.
5. The process is cost-efficient.
6. The final output is durable.
7. You can create a significant impact on the target audience by displaying your desired message by way of engraving it.
Benefits of Etching:
1. If you want to highlight something on a thin surface, then probably etching is the solution for you as the crevices formed by etching are usually no deeper than 0.001″
2. Etching delivers next-level results for small projects and even in jewelry.
3. Chemical etching is a very precise method which achieves tasks quickly.
4. There is less wastage and thus material savings in this process.
5. Similar to laser engraving, chemical etching can also be done on a wide variety of materials.
6. Once done, etching lasts for years and is thus durable on every material.
7. The etching is a cost-effective technology that doesn't cut a hole into your pocket even if your project's scale is big.
You may seek engraving services or chemical etching service for your project depending on your preferences and budget, but in either case, if you want to achieve quality and cost-effectiveness in addition to saving time then hire laser engraving service in UK from an established organization. A renowned organization is supposed to be an engraving specialist and etching specialist who knows how to use laser technology astutely. Furthermore, established chemical etching companies in UK and laser engraving companies in UK offer various solutions under one roof viz. wood engraving service, metal engraving service, plastic engraving service, rotary engraving, chemical etching service, etc., thereby making them a perfect choice for any project.