Acid Etching Process on Metals and Alloys
November 8, 2019
Acid or chemical etching is a process of utilizing chemicals and acids to produce highly complex and accurate metal components for industrial purposes. This process is a very well-known and effective and uses acids and chemical substances to give metals and alloys a visual or aesthetic change. This procedure involves almost no physical work as this is based entirely on acids and chemicals.
Any metal or alloy such as stainless steel, titanium, copper, and nickel can be etched chemically. Etched objects are very thin, like metal sheets or foils, but thicker metals like coins can also be etched through acid etching definition. The most widely available chemicals and acids that are used for etching metals and alloys are hydrochloric acid and nitric acid. Please be ultra-careful while handling these chemicals and acids as they can easily dissolve the metal as well as your fingers.
Steps to etch a metal
There are six major steps in the acid etching definition process. The process starts with the separation of oils and chemicals from the metal sheet which is going to be etched. Cleansers are usually an alkaline solvent to remove organic compounds. Acid cleaner is used to remove chemical residues. Both the cleaners are not that powerful meaning the surface of the metal sheet will not be scratched.
Then, the whole surface is covered by a masking. Types of masking are tapes or paints, plastics or rubber. Similarly, the metal will be cut. The masking of the cut is separated from the parts to be etched and finally, the chemical is added. The chemical and the remaining parts are removed once the acid has reached the final etch. Then the metal will polished and the imperfections in the cut will be burnished. It is important to note that, different metals and alloys require different chemicals. This concludes the acid etching definition process.
Benefits and Usage
As chemical technology has advanced, acid etching definition process has become increasingly common as chemical milling is much quicker and more economical than mechanical milling. Mechanical milling involves expensive equipment and must be milled individually for each part. Whereas, acid etching definition is a cost-effective and time-efficient process than mechanical process. Jewelers and gun companies used this traditional method in the middle ages to etch their products.
Components prepared from chemicals include stencils, plaques, plates, printed boards and dies for electronic components and aeronautics industries. Acid etching process will work well on the surface of steel plates as well as on alloys such as bronze and brass. The coating formed on the steel’s surface is typically matt type and will vary in texture from the steel’s unetched portion. It ensures that the procedure is used to make the surface not so smooth thus making hand tools safer.
Since the process of acid etching utilizes inexpensive tools and needs less time than the traditional milling process, watch out for the best manufacturers in the town who has both expertise and experience in the etching industry. Hurry up and fulfill your requirements by contacting an etching specialist now!