If a person wants to get something etched on any piece of metal or any object that is laminated using metal, they need to use photochemical etching. It is a method that combines the use of photographic and chemical techniques to create desired patterns on metal. And to get this done gracefully, one needs to look for the best photo chemical etching services in their area.
The term photochemical etching is also referred to as metal etching or photochemical machining (PCM). It is the process of shaping metal pieces with the use of modern chemical and photographic methods. This process involves metal cutting with the use of chemicals.
The chemical is poured on the flat metal sheet to create the designs. The photochemical etching includes various steps to produce any products. The photo chemical etching company creates unique and stylish products to achieve its final goal and increase its sales.
The companies providing photo chemical etching services perform the following process to produce their products.
For the preparation of metal, first, one needs to choose the right size, shape, and thickness of the metal sheet. The material of the sheet can be aluminum, steel, copper, or titanium. These alloys have strong corrosion resistance. Then, the metal is cut into an appropriate shape and size. The grease is decontaminated on the surface of the metal.
A computer-aided design is prepared, finalized, and then printed on a polymeric film-based photo tool. A photo chemical etching company ensures that this photo tool and the design is larger in size than the targeted dimension. This is because the footprint of the photochemical process will deliver a smaller pattern than the intended one at the time of making.
In this step, the photo chemical etching services coat the metal sheet with a film of photoresist. And it is one this film that the photo-initiators and photo-sensitive materials are located.
Photo chemical etching services now create a design using CAD design which is a photo tool to create the desired design. This is then taken to the sheet metal, which has been coated in the last step. Now UV radiation is applied to create this design, and due to this exposure, a chemical reaction starts in the photoresist film. The portion of the sheet which is not protected starts polymerization.
Just like in photography, the picture develops with a chemical reaction, and the pattern on the metal develops. Now the photo chemical etching company washes off the materials which have not undergone polymerization using an alkaline solution.
This is the final step when the etching process begins. In this process, the softened metals are removed to create the design. Most photo chemical etching services use etching solutions to make this process easier. This solution is sprayed using a chamber and spray tool. This solution dissolves the weakened material and leaves the developed design on the surface.
Now, the alkaline solution is applied to strip the photoresist film from the surface. A final inspection is done to ensure that the design has met the required measurements and specifications.
So these were the steps that are involved in the photo chemical etching process. And photo chemical etching services use it to create beautiful designs on metal surfaces.