To get the best photo etching service, you need to know what it is and how it works. To just quickly summarize: Photo etching is a very tightly controlled and precise corrosion process that is used to process metal components, even the most complex ones, with extremely fine detail. The photo etching is also known as metal etching or chemical etching. Photo etching services are gaining popularity fast because it is a cost effective process used commonly as an alternative to water jet and laser cutting, punching and stamping. There are few factors that make a photo etching service the best one. Let us find out.
Reputation of producing complex designs
One of the primary advantages of photo etching is that it can produce complex designs. However, when you compare various services with their best designs, you will know the expertise and the ability to produce complex and beautiful designs, which comes with skills. It’s always a smart idea to go for chemically etched parts because they are usually free of mechanical stress and burrs and are generally free of contaminants and pristinely clean. A good photo etching service will make sure that the raw materials are cleaned thoroughly before imaging – After stripping, after etching and before as well as after every metal finishing process. A good service will take care of all these requisites and these help in producing complex designs.
Fast, flexible, and time-efficient
Right from the initial tooling process to delivering the finished parts – the entire cycle of photo etching should be completed in 10 days. However, a good photo etching service will complete it before or in a week. Considering a general backlog, the expected lead times for the new parts are ideally three to four weeks. In most cases, the repeat orders are processed pretty quickly, especially when the raw materials are available in stock and the prototype orders are done in 2 weeks. A good photo etching service will take minimal extra time in accommodating secondary operations like forming, heat-treating, plating, assembly, addition of the surface components, or the silk screening.
Material Properties Unaltered
A good Photo etching process will impart no thermal or mechanical stresses on the metal substrates. At the same time, while punching, stamping, and deformation of die-cutting impart shearing as well as water-jet and laser may leave behind ablative deformation, the process of a good photo etching can dissolve the unneeded metal, which will leave a burr-free and flat part. When you see that the material properties are not being altered, you can safely consider the photo etching service as a good one!
Choosing the best photo etching service for you won’t be too difficult if you understand what it is and if it satisfies the three mentioned factors. These factors will help you in identifying and differentiating phot etching services. Further, these will also help you in having a better understanding of the entire process. An expert etching service can etch, chemically, various kinds of metal, which will also include specialty materials such as soft magnetic alloys, molybdenum, metal-clad ceramics, and many more.