Also referred to as chemical etching, photo etching, metal etching is a technique to create fine lines, grooves, and impressive designs on metal sheets and parts. It is used on an extensive scale for a wide assortment of industrial and decorative applications.
In this process, chemicals are used for creating patterns and designs into the metal surface. It is considered to be an ideal choice to create your jewelry. This technique is useful in creating musical instrument decoration, jewelry design, and trophy decoration, firearm engraving, plaque, and furniture, architectural and engraving embellishments.
Selecting the right etchant
The etching is considered to be the mixture of chemicals that is beneficial for cutting into different unprotected parts of the metal, thereby creating the finished etched design. You should ensure to match the metal with the right etchant as the same metal will be reacting to various chemicals and vice versa.
For instance, it is possible to etch the silver, nickel, brass, copper and other metal etching jewelry with ferric chloride. On the other hand, the .925 sterling silver and .999 fine silver can be etched with the aid of nitric acid and ferric nitrate solution.
How metal etching works
In photo etching, metal is known to be laminated with the photo resist which is a light-sensitive polymer. It is printed Ultra-violet light which helps in transferring the CAD photo of the specific part.
The different unexposed areas of the photo resist are developed and removed. After this, an etchant is sprayed on the specific unexposed area such as ferric chloride for the removal of the unprotected metal.
The rest of the photo resist mask is stripped or removed for getting the final etched part.The metal etching technique does not make use of any kind of force or heat, which indicates that the properties of the materials remain unaltered.
The metal etching technique is a faster process and involves a reduced cut off from the pocket. There are several benefits to opt for this process to create metal etching jewelry:
Low-cost repeatability along with complicated designs
Photochemical etching involves low-cost repeatability along with different complex designs. It is a quicker and affordable option, in comparison to laser, stamping. It primarily involves different complicated designs. With this process, parts with slots, holes or any other type of intricate features are created without any kind of additional charge.
An ideal choice to simplify the complexities
One of the top reasons to choose this process for creating metal etching jewelry is that it allows you to create the most intricate designs on the metal parts, without any effect on the tooling and production technique. It is possible to produce complicated designs via this process which is hard to be achieved with stamping or laser cutting.
No deburring is required
With metal etching, you can create burr-free components. Hence, you do not need to waste your valuable time to deburr the materials.
Photo etching offers a plethora of benefits owing to which a wide assortment of people prefers to choose this technique for creating metal etching jewelry. As this process is universal, it is considered to be an ideal choice for creating intrinsic designs on countless metal alloys and materials.
Also, metal etching does not include any sort of deformation, internal stress or waste materials. It does not need any kind of hard tooling. Metal manufacturers opt for this process for creating easy and simple design changes.