Stamping, also known as pressing, is a manufacturing process whereby flat sheet metal is introduced into a stamping press and a tool and die surface forms the metal into desired shape.
The trend towards miniaturisation has driven the industry to micro level. Compared to Stamping, or Micro Stamping, Chemical Etching is a more effective process from prototyping to industrial production with shorter lead time, lower costs, better quality, and more design flexibility.
What are the differences between Stamping and Chemical Etching?
Unlike Chemical Etching which features no tooling cost, Stamping always requires substantial investment in tooling and installation: both monetary-wise and time-wise. One stamping die can easily cost thousands of pounds, not to mention the extra costs for setting up and maintenance costs over time.
With Stamping, the lead time can be 6-8 weeks just to prepare the tooling. Even after the stamping tool is completed, extra time (and costs) will be incurred to set up the tooling in the stamping press. With Chemical Etching, lead time is a matter of days. Compared to organisations who still stamp their precision metal components, you can receive your ultra-precision etched parts even before their stamping tool is ready.
Chemical Etching allows for more design flexibility due to the fact that it requires no tooling investment and that it has a very short lead time, while with Stamping modifying a design means making a completely new die and investing on tooling and setting up all over again. This also means that Chemical Etching is perfect for small volumes of prototypes as well as industrial-sized production.
Chemical Etching is a high precision micro-manufacturing technology. With etching, a higher level of accuracy and precision can be achieved. Moreover, etched parts are completely burr and stress free while stamped parts feature partial burrs and stress at cutting edge. Although minor burr or stress can be acceptable for some applications, it might cause critical performance issues for your next breakthrough.
Compared to Stamping, or Micro Stamping, Chemical Etching is a highly effective process with shorter lead time, lower costs, better quality, and more design flexibility.
Learn more about Chemical Etching and how it can contribute to your next R&D project in our chemical etching whitepaper