Metal etching, or metal engraving, is a method of creating impressed designs, grooves or fine lines on metal parts and sheets. The metals most commonly etched are aluminum, copper, stainless steel, nickel and brass. Engraving machines may also service surfaces like metal, glass and plastic. The process of metal etching was traditionally completed by hand, using a fine tipped tool, like a burin. Hand etching always creates unique patterns, however, due to its time consuming nature and inconsistency, it was eventually largely replaced with other techniques.
Today, metal etchings are most commonly done using chemical or mechanical machining or acid etching. Other techniques include photo etching, also called photofabrication, stamping, water-jet cutting, laser engraving, electro discharge machining (EDM) and mechanical milling. Laser etching, or engraving, is favored for its ability to create very fine, clean lines on surfaces with little need touchups. EDM achieves exceptionally close tolerances by exposing the metal part to streams of corrosive electromagnetic discharge. After etching, manufacturers can smooth or polish away any imperfections, burrs or marks. Read More…
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Metal Etching Informational Video