As a machining process, there are many applications and advantages to using photochemical etching. While photochemical etching is not the most common engineering process, it in fact produces much higher quality components than traditional methods such as laser beam cutting, wire electronica discharge machining and metal stamping. According to the component design, photochemical etching can even be a more cost effective method of parts manufacturing.
Photochemical etching is the process by which accurate metal parts are created using chemicals and UV light. This manufacturing method is achieved by positioning photo-resistant stencils over designated areas on sheet metal. The metal component is then formed through the use of chemicals that break down areas exposed to the UV light, creating a precise imitation of the stencil.
Chemical etching can be used on practically every type of metal or alloy, of any hardness. It supplies a great economical advantage because of the fact the manufacture is actually inexpensive and can be quickly produced. The process is well suited for prototyping as it allows for easy changes to be made before, or even during mass creation. Throughout the manufacturing process, the dimensional threshold is properly taken care of, and the completed components will be absent of burrs or sharp edges. This ultimately saves time and money, because additional work will not be required to remove these unwanted fragments.
Chemical etching also decreases creation time for components. On average, a turnaround time of only two or three times is required to produce sample amounts. Compared with steel stamping, it requires a couple weeks on average to complete tooling. Due to the quick turnaround time with photochemical etching, if there are any changes to the design required, the photo tool may easily be modified at low cost within a short period of time.
Along with hard tools, such as stamping and punching dies, they generally suffer wear and other damages. Since phototools are only subjected to light, they are more resilient and are much more robust. Since of the expense of hard tooling for stamping, a sizable number is required to validate the expenditure. With photochemical etching, components can be produced much cheaper so to become alarmed to make a big set.
There are some metal parts that are so intricate and delicate that, they can simply be produced by photochemical etching. Though the technology first emerged throughout the Second World Battle, it has since been modified and modernized through the years to serve a variety of applications in a number of industries. Many of the new life altering technologies may not be possible without this rapidly growing manufacturing process. These types of numerous etching advantages are eagerly gaining industries such as consumer electronics, medical implants, aerospace engineering, etc.
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