When the manufacturing process demands precision, the manufacturers often resort to non-traditional machining processes. The electronic, architectural, aerospace and automotive industries are some of the industries that rely on non-traditional machining processes because of the precision the methods offer.
Chemical milling/chemical machining is one of the leading non-traditional machining processes; it’s known for its accuracy, simplicity, and cost-effectiveness.
What is Chemical Milling?
Chemical milling is a method of molding metal/materials by exposing them to strong chemical elements. This milling method is used to create parts that cannot be machined effectively through conventional machining methods. For instance, chemical milling is used in creating parts and components that need precision engineering like those that have deep internal cavities and miniaturized microcomponents.
How Does the Chemical Milling Process Work?
The entire process is uncomplicated. First, the workpiece is cleaned, and then the surfaces that don’t need to be etched are ‘masked’, using preventive coating like vinyl plastic.
The workpiece is then exposed to the etching solution. The level of etching is determined by the chemical solution’s concentration and the sort of etchant used. An operator uses an ultrasonic thickness to assess the workpiece till it gets to the precise thickness recommended in the blueprint. The workpiece then goes through a quality control inspection after the etched surfaces have been cleaned.
The process is very cost-effective because numerous parts can be chemically milled concurrently.
The Advantages of Chemical Milling
No Stress is Introduced
Some workpieces are deformed due to the heating and cooling during manufacturing. With chemical machining, no stress or residual stress is introduced to a workpiece. Besides, this process doesn’t create thermal effects and thus there is no thermal plastic deformation or phase transformation in your workpiece.
Wide Range of Application
Chemical machining has a wide range of unique applications. For one, it can be used on materials that are not pliable to traditional machining methods. Besides, it offers good surface quality, low scrap rates, and easy weight reduction.
Doesn’t Affect the Properties of the Material
A key advantage of chemical milling is that it doesn’t affect the properties of the material that undergoes the milling process. For instance, properties such as thermal conductivity, adhesion, hardness, etc are not altered by the chemical milling process.
Besides, it doesn’t produce unnecessary burrs. Usually, after machining, the material at the edges of a workpiece gets raised, creating burrs. The burrs then have to be removed using a deburring tool. With chemical machining, you don’t get to deal with deburring.
Chemical milling is increasingly in-demand. A lot of the conventional ways of machining aren’t as cost-effective or effective as this process. It allows for the machining of materials that are difficult to mold. Besides, it’s effective when one needs to mold thin materials with complex or delicate configurations. Chemical machining is therefore an essential machining method.
Whether you need passivation and milling for components and parts, intricate design in signage and architectural applications, or commercial and industrial etching processes like stock removal, HIP can removal, passivation, surface texture enhancement, and surface purifications, chemical milling offers a cost-effective and efficient solution.