Nickel Silver

A sheet of nickel silver made using photo etching.

The technicians at United Western Enterprises have years of experience in photo etching nickel silver materials into a broad range of shapes, patterns, and configurations for customers in various industries.

About Nickel Silver

Nickel silver is an alloy of copper, nickel, and zinc. It contains no elemental silver at all, as its name derives from its silvery appearance rather than its composition. Nickel silver goes by a number of other names, including German silver, Argentan, nickel brass, new silver, albata, and alpaca.

The most common alloy is 62% copper, 18% nickel, and 20% zinc, but other mixtures are possible as well, including:

  • Alloy 735: 72% copper, 18% nickel, 10% zinc
  • Alloy 752: 65% copper, 18% nickel, 17% zinc
  • Alloy 762: 59% copper, 12% nickel, 29% zinc
  • Alloy 770: 55% copper, 18% nickel, 27% zinc

Nickel silver is highly heat-, electro-, and corrosion-resistant, making it valuable in a wide spectrum of applications. Hard but malleable, this metal is commonly used in silverware, plumbing fixtures, printed circuit boards, clothing zippers, heating coils, and certain musical instruments. Nickel silver can be manipulated to create pipes, tubes, wires, fittings, fasteners, and much more. Often it is utilized as a protective coating over soft metals. Due to its appealing sheen, nickel silver is also found in many types of jewelry.

Advantages of Chemical Etching Nickel Silver

The photo etching (or chemical etching) process is a cost-effective production method that confers multiple benefits. Nickel silver etching with chemicals enables the stress-free alteration of a metal surface that will not generate burrs or other unwanted distortions associated with laser etching. Even extremely elaborate designs and large production runs—which are often impractical with alternative manufacturing methods—are achievable by chemically etching nickel silver. In addition, etching nickel silver in this manner does not require expensive tooling, as the process is reliant on chemicals (such as ferric chloride) and CAD software.

Contact UWE, Inc., for Nickel Silver Etching Services

For photo etched materials that conform to the highest industry standards, you can depend on United Western Enterprises to deliver the goods. Since our founding in 1969, we have offered an assortment of etching services to customers in the automotive, aerospace, medical, and electronics industries. We are an AS 9100D / ISO 9001:2015 Certified company and a member of the Photo Chemical Machining Institute (PCMI). Our nickel silver etching processes are carried out under close supervision at our facility in Camarillo, California.

Whether you need a single prototype or a huge volume of parts, we will ensure that your photo etched products meet your specifications. Furthermore, our value added options such as plating and heat treating provide you with expanded opportunities to realize the potential of your project. For more information about photo etching nickel silver at UWE, Inc., don’t hesitate to contact us.

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