Many industries such as medical, aerospace, automotive and electronics require complex and layered components with intricate designs and sizes. The precision metal parts must be to exact dimensions to work effectively in machinery, equipment and other devices. Using stamping, water jetting and laser cutting tools can provide precision metal parts. However, these methods can cause serious problems such as mechanical stresses, distortions and shearing deformations. Instead, more manufacturers are turning to chemical etching metal processes to achieve desired results as they are taking advantage of the following benefits.
Used for Both Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals
Chemical etching metal processes are not restricted to specific metals or alloys. Both ferrous (containing iron) and non-ferrous (metals that don’t contain iron) can go through chemical etching. Metals that are hard to machine, such as titanium, as well as high temperature alloys such as Inconel can also undergo this process.
By being used with various metals, manufacturers have more options when it comes to selecting the right materials for their components. Metal and alloy compatibility are major issues when creating products and devices. Two differing metals can experience positive or negative reactions when used together. Since chemical etching can work with different metals, manufacturers have more leeway to select the ones that will work the best for the application.
Doesn’t Impact Metal’s Properties
Some etching processes can’t be used for certain metals, such as magnetic alloys, without altering their magnetic characteristics which may be desired for the application. On the other hand, chemical etching metal processes will not change the physical properties of the metal. Magnetic materials still maintain their soft permeability.
Create Intricate, Thin Parts Quickly
This metal etching process isn’t restricted to part thickness. It can be utilized on extremely thin metals without placing additional stresses on the material. The technique can also create very fine details for large production runs while maintaining uniformity. Manufacturers can create highly detailed components with multiple layers without adding on additional production costs.
Both prototyping and production processes will be able to use the same etching method. This benefit helps to keep manufacturing costs low, as regular hard tooling methods can cost thousands more to produce similar results. Chemical etching techniques can also allow for more last minute changes with the component’s design.
Chemical etching techniques for metals can provide advantages that other etching processes cannot. When you are looking for a cost-effective and fast way to make precision metal components that have consistent quality without impacting the metal’s properties, using chemical processes is the right choice for a range of different industries.