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PCM is the process of photographically transferring an acid resistant film image onto metal and then chemically removing (etching) the uncoated metal. Precise and intricate flat metal component parts can be economically produced using this process.
First, customers provide us with CAD data or an original, full-dimensional formed or flat blank drawing with tolerances of desired part. We then prepare the artwork, compensating for our process, using computer aided design software and electronically send to a photo plotter. Every metal and each thickness of that metal varies as to the dimensional tolerances obtainable. Data from our own research and development experience enables us to accurately predict those tolerances.
Metals are thoroughly cleaned and dried before being coated front and back with a photosensitive “resist”. The photographic image is then exposed onto the resist with a two-sided negative. The metal is then etched in a precisely timed chemical bath and inspected continuously until the unwanted metal is removed. The portions of the metal protected by the resist become the finished part.
After withdrawal from the bath, all photosensitive resist is chemically removed. Inspection of the parts is carried out continuously during the PCM process to assure their accuracy to the original drawing and tolerances. After cleaning, the parts are moved to the quality area for final or intermediate inspection and shipping or secondary.
Advantages of PCM:
- Produce complex design of flat metal components while maintaining tight tolerances.
- Multiple parts produced within one tool.
- Short lead times.
- No tooling wear, excellent part consistency and repeatability.
- Metal properties remain unchanged by process.
- Completely burr free parts.
- Ultra-thin parts can be produced, down to 0.0005" thick.
- Part number or other characteristics available at no added cost.
- Prototype to production capability on same tooling.
- Flat parts can be left tabbed in sheets for economical plating and ease of handling.
- Parts can be produced with "half-etch" bend lines for forming without tooling.
- Design changes can be accomplished fast and inexpensively.
There are many types of parts manufactured by MANSFIELD GRAPHICS using PCM such as alignment plates, antenna components, backing plates, baffle shutters, bus bar terminals, brackets, circuit board components, coined components, cylinder components, dial face indicator components, electrical contacts, electrical terminals, encoder discs, encoder components, filters, fluidic sub-plates, gaskets, grounding contacts and clips, heat sink components, instrument indicator, lead frames, lids/covers, linear encoder components, magnetic shielding components, metering components, microwave parts, motor laminations, name plates, RF shielding components (enclosures), screens, shims, spacers, springs (Gimbal, Radial and Axial), valve plates and washers.
MANSFIELD GRAPHICS photo chemical machining permits comparatively inexpensive parts fabrication of most metals from thin foil to 1/16” sheet or thicker, depending on tolerances required. Gather your parts problems and bring them to MANSFIELD GRAPHICS. Chances are we can solve them.
Precision Metal Products
Chemical machining of thin metal parts, chemical engraving of nameplates and instrument panels, and etching printed circuit boards may be done in any shop or lab with the Model 2800 Spray Etcher. An adjustable drawer type rack loads parts horizontally up to size 21″ by 21″. In addition to oscillating spray tubes, the rack independently oscillates from side to side to maximize etchant movement on the work.