here we consider the risks to take into account when manufacturing precision parts

thermal stress

Manufacturing methods other than chemical etching can cause thermal stress due to the high temperatures involved. This can cause irregularities and distortions as well as weakness in the component itself. This results in a potential risk of reduced conductivity and increased surface friction, ultimately leading to a negative effect of performance.

Despite the fact there may be some temperature increase when etching some metals, chemical etching does not involve heat. The etchant washes away any unwanted material simultaneously: there is no localised point of contact from either an electrical charge or gas as there is using other methods which can cause thermal stress on edges.

burr-free

Similarly, processes other than chemcial etching can leave microscopic burrs which can affect performance and risk malfuction in the end application such as:

  • material accumulation at edges
  • reduction in formability
  • short circuits caused by loose burrs
  • signal disruptions
  • inaccurate dimensional tolerances
  • Scratches on surfaces which affect interlocking components

Because the chemical etchant dissolves and washes away any unwanted material, you are left with smooth surfaces and precise edges removing any need for costly and inefficient secondary deburring operations.

efficiency

Chemical etching is able to process multiple features at the same time, so improving productivity and reducing costs. There is no expensive tooling or set-up as this is created directly from CAD data, and modifications- however small or large – can be easily made. All these benefits mean that prototyping and scaling to volume can be achieved quickly.

see also: SMT stencils

stencils and squeegee blades