While it is a nontraditional method, there are many benefits to choosing the photochemical etching process. This type of etching is a cost-effective method of creating objects from prototype to production. One of the major development processes for custom metal components; photochemical etching utilizes chemical etching through a photoresist stencil as the elimination method. Photochemical etching is often paralleled to stamping, since both methods can be used to fabricate a wide variety of complex parts from metal sheets cnc milling china.
Photochemical etching has a moderately high part cost, but very low costs related to machine tooling and concept design. Comparatively, precision metal stamping has a smaller production cost for each unit, but it has a very high tooling cost. This is especially true in instances when complicated parts are being produced. In this instance, photochemical etching is the more economical alternative, especially if you are producing a small to medium batch of multifaceted parts. On the other hand, for very large quantities for extremely simple parts, metal stamping would have the advantage.
Another attribute important to companies is the amount of time it takes to produce the parts. It typically takes 48 to 72 hours to create sample quantities with chemical etching. Metal stamping can generally take up to 90 days to produce the tooling. If there are any changes to the designated part during chemical etching process, modification can be made to the prototype with little trouble and cost. Additional costs can also often arise for work needed to finalize the product with stamping. Metal stamping often requires further abrasive treatments to remove burrs. Burrs are nonexistent on with components that are produced with chemical etching. Furthermore, chemical etching will not affect the intrinsic properties of the metal parts. For instance, metal stamping would greatly lessen the permeability of magnetic material during fabrication.
Additionally, metal stamping cannot process sheet metal that has been pre-hardened. However, nearly any metal can be photochemically etched, including copper, brass and stainless steel. While it depends on the engineering of the component, chemical etching can be very reasonable and cost effective solution. The biggest factor when determining cost is the thickness of the metal.Photochemical etching can serve a number of industries and is ideal for creating components to serve the defense, medical and industrial fields. When it comes to jobs that require thin gauge and high accuracy of a small to medium sized batch, chemical etching is the best option. With advantages in tooling cost, lead time and the ease of design changes, chemical etching in not only the more economic, but often more efficient method over metal stamping.