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Photo chemical etching may seem like a bit of a specialist process that applies only to a select few industries and instances, but there are chemically etched items everywhere. In fact, much of your everyday life and surroundings will feature chemically etched components, and everything from your white goods to your hi-tech gadgets will depend on this superb process.
The reason etching metals for so many different purposes is such a common practice, and such a popular choice, is the efficiency and the quality of the end result. Instead of burrs and stress fractures, which come as part and parcel of some metal cutting processes, you have smooth lines and guaranteed quality of every single piece. Additionally, the cost-efficiency and impressive lead times of photo etching benefit consumers and manufacturers alike.
If you still aren’t convinced that photo etching plays a role in your daily routine, take a look at the five everyday items below; all of which are produced, or partly produced, with photo chemical etching.
The fine mesh needed for various filters would usually require fine wire material, but with photo etching, you can use sturdy metal plates, chemically etched with superb precision. As well as creating a durable rigid mesh filter, photo etching can also make the design decorative or branded, adding to the aesthetic and quality of the mesh.
Tiny components for white goods
White goods are heavy duty items in the home. Used day in and day out, each and every intricate component has to be durable and long lasting. Many of these components have to withstand heat, water, repetitive motion, and more. Similarly, each and every component has to be uniform to ensure the appliance works flawlessly every time. That is why the precision and quality of photo etched parts is a major advantage.
Circuit boards in…everything
Almost everything is automated, electronic and digital these days. From your smart home controller to the alarm-calibrated coffee maker, the world revolves around microchips and circuit boards. Of course, the technical precision and nano-sized nature of the circuit board world requires parts that are equally precise, on an equally microscopic scale, even when produced on a mass scale. This is where photo etching comes in.
Fixtures for your flat-pack furniture
If you are a fan of flat-pack furniture, be it from a big retailer or your town’s discount store, the chances are you will come across photo etched fixtures. Even though the screws, nails and bolts have to be 3D formed, things like washers can be photo etched in mass quantities, uniform and ready to ship out in bulk with DIY wardrobes and problematic pieces of furniture.
Satellite parts for your digital TV
One of the most used items in the modern home is the television. Yes, whether it is for your soaps, the news or family games night on the Wii, the television is front and centre. However, the once limited terrestrial channels are no more. Now there are literally hundreds of television channels at your disposal, thanks to the power of digital TV technology. And how do these channels make their way across the globe and into homes? With satellites. The precision and reliability of photo etched components means the process is popular in aerospace projects, such as the satellites responsible for our flexible TV habits.
Of course, these everyday examples of photo etching are by no means the only ones out there. From the manufacturing of miniscule metallic components to major design features, photo chemical etching is in popular demand.
So whether you are a manufacturer looking to get the best out of your designs, or a consumer wanting to understand more about the different parts that build your home and work environment, remember that photo chemical etching is a true all-rounder that comes in all shapes and sizes.
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