Nitinol, Zirconium and Titanium Metal Etching:
Metal Fabricating Delivers Precision Metal Parts

Let Fotofab fabricate your Nitinol, zirconium or titanium application. The speed and low cost of the process make it an ideal technique both for prototypes and for production quantities of precision metal parts, even into the millions. Fotofab is a leading manufacturer of precision metal parts used in thousands of companies, but these metal are significant to the medical industry and known for their superior strength and bio-compatibility.

Fotofab also works with many stainless steel alloys that are frequently used in medical applications. Stainless steel 316 is the most common. For more information about 'medical friendly' metals such as Nitinol, zirconium, titanium or stainless steel 316 please contact Fotofab's technical sales staff. We can send you metal specs and samples of the material.

Click here to see Typical Applications of the chemical etching process

Click here to view our Design Guide to Photochemical Machining

Metal Etching Capabilities

Because then etchants employed in photochemical machining etch both vertically (through the thickness) and laterally (across the plane) at the same time, there are some limits to the tolerances that can be achieved with chemical machining.

During the chemical etching process, the surface of the metal is exposed to the etchant longer than the metal in the middle of the sheet. This causes the surface of a part to etch more laterally than the metal in the middle. The following planar dimensions are dependent upon the thickness of the metal sheet.

Slot Width & Hole Size

As a general rule, the smallest diameter hole (D), or slot with, that be produced with photochemical machining is 1.2 times the thickness of the metal. Fotofab’s metal fabrication capabilities allow for a minimum practical slot width or hole diameter of 0.005 in or 0.13mm.

Bar Width

In metal fabrication, bar width (W) is the term applied to the metal remaining between closely spaced holes and/or slots, such as those in fine resolution screens and encoder discs. With photochemical machining, the close spacing of holes and/or slots in a design is not a problem.

With sheets of metal more than 0.005 in or 0.13 mm thick, the minimum bar width must generally be at least 0.9 times that of the metal thickness. For metals under 0.005 in or 0.13 mm thick, the smallest practical bar width that can be achieved with photochemical metal fabrication is 0.003 in or 0.076 mm.

Read more on capabilities.

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