Aluminum Photo Etching

New Aluminum Etching Services

We have expanded our photo chemical etching services to include aluminum etching. One of the markets driving the aluminum increase is transportation, specifically automotive and aerospace. According to IndustryARC, aluminum will grow at a CAGR of 4.2% during the forecast period 2019-2025.

With these new aluminum photo etching services, we can better serve existing customers and offer capacity for companies who are increasing their aluminum products or looking to increase their supply chain to mitigate risk.

We have seen a notable increase in RFQs for aluminum etched components in the past six months, mainly from the automotive, aerospace, and electronics industries. More OEMs and their suppliers are utilizing the unique properties of aluminum, such as the high strength to weight ratio, corrosion resistance, and better performance in extreme temperatures. Compared to steel, aluminum contributes to better fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions.

Why etch aluminum components?  What is the benefit of aluminum chemical etching?

Photo etching aluminum has many advantages. The chemical etching process achieves burr-free surfaces and precision edges without altering the metal properties.

Other machining processes can spawn galling or wear on the aluminum when there is friction between the metal and the work tool. Another issue is that the aluminum parts can become work-hardened during the punching or stamping process. The reflective surface of aluminum is heat reactive, making laser cutting a difficult process due to the possibility of metal deformation from the creation of heat-affected zones.  The photo etching process has its challenges as well since machining aluminum causes higher temperatures; the parts could have granular built up on the edges.  However, with careful temperature control and the addition of machine chillers, photo etching provides precision results.

Chemical etching is more cost-effective than other methods for parts with unique designs or numerous features. For example, aircraft heat exchanger plates and automotive bipolar fuel cell plates contain multiple channels on one or both sides. The photo etching process machines all features simultaneously, providing faster turnaround with a lower cost than other manufacturing processes.

Photo chemical etching is not limited to mechanical and electronic components. Decorative dashboard covers made of aluminum, such as speaker grills, are an excellent fit for the etching process. The numerous holes are etched quickly, making it a low-cost machining option.

If you are looking for precision aluminum components and want to save time and money, photo etching is a great alternative.

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