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Using Chemical Etching to Achieve Complex Designs

3D printing

The emergence of 3D printing as a way of achieving complex designs has really been hyped around. This has led to people thinking that this is the only way to achieving complex designs. However, they are very wrong since this assumption has made them overlook the existence of a process that long pre-dates 3D printing – chemical etching. Chemical etching is a machining process that uses sheet metal materials to manufacture multifaceted components with high levels of accurateness. The process involves the printing of component design on a laminated photo-resist. Etching is all about removing all the parts of the material that have not been printed. This exposes the metal, and that is called etching. Etching can be applied in any metal regardless of grade and temper.

The chemical etching company is growing fast and becoming the to-go technology. Compared to other metalworking technologies, custom chemical etching has a number of inherent advantages. Key among them is its ability to produce parts without degrading material properties. No heat or force is utilized during the process – and almost limitless part complexity as component features are removed concurrently using etchant interactions. Let’s get to some of the applications of this complex technology;

Etched Automotive Parts

Car manufacturers are now preferring using metals like aluminum which have a low weight to high strength ratio. Aluminum, on the other hand, is also highly corrosive and temperature resistant. Due to these qualities, it is the perfect choice when it comes to making automotive parts that are exposed to high temperatures and corrosive fluids. Using aluminum for metal imprinting is becoming more rampant for parts like shims, washers, gaskets, and even electronic parts. Aluminum electronic contacts, connectors, and flat springs can also replace copper as automakers become more sustainable to lower carbon emissions. Aluminum is recyclable, cheaper than copper, yet highly conductive.

Etched Aerospace Parts

Airplanes need a lot of precision while making them, this is because these parts are exposed to high temperatures. Hence, materials used in making them must be of the highest quality and temperature resistant. The only way to avoid failure during manufacture is to make sure that the materials remain free from thermal distortion or burrs. When you consider the aerospace industry, the common parts that go through etching are grounding contacts, flat springs, terminals, and heat exchangers. Chemical etching melts the unwanted metal without heat to eliminate undesirable distorted edges, burrs, or reformed metal structures. If the part has complex features, etching is the best choice for quick lead times and low-cost with larger volumes.

Etched Electronic Components

These are the most etched parts due to the endless list of their uses for electrical parts across numerous industries that manufacture or assemble connected devices, navigational systems, and medical devices. The electronic industry is driven by the invention of making electric parts even better. For this, a lot of resources are diverted to this sector. So, design engineers seek manufacturing processes that eliminate flaws in the final products as well as retaining the properties of the metals.

In conclusion, chemical etching as a way of achieving complex designs should not be overlooked. This is because it is very crucial in many industries and also has an overall better result in metals in which it is applied.

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