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Photo Chemical Etching for Aerospace: 4 Things Managers Should Know

June 2022
Space satellite over the planet earth

As a manager or team lead for an aerospace company, you know all too well that the aerospace industry is extremely diverse with a plethora of industrial, commercial, and military applications. Usually, the aerospace industry is engulfed in collaboration between both the public and private sectors, and some organizations develop parts for rockets, weapons, spaceships, satellites, and aircrafts. For more than a decade United Western Enterprises has etched components for the aerospace industry used in the private and public sectors, while enabling organizations to complete their tasks and projects on time.

When it comes to companies that offer photo chemical etching for aerospace organizations, our precision metal component fabrication solutions enable greater affordability, and we help organizations get their aerospace devices ready for missions and tasks at a fast rate.

If you are new to project management within the aerospace sector, then here are four critical things you should know about photo chemical etching.

1. Aerospace Photo Chemical Etching Capabilities with Metal Thickness

Not all photo chemical etching companies have the capability to work with materials that have specific thickness measurements, nor can they create or work within holes with especially small diameters. If you don’t do your research, you can waste a significant amount of time and money with photo chemical etching providers that aren’t equipped to take on more complex projects. United Western Enterprises is known as the number one photo chemical etching partner for aerospace organizations because we can etch a wide variety of metals as thin as .0003”, and as thick as .064”. We can also work with holes as small as .004”. If you need engraving, we can work with materials much thicker, as our state-of-the-art equipment can engrave metals up to .250” thick. We can even work with a tolerance of ±10% for metal thickness. Even with these complex demands, we can meet fast turnaround times and have a perfect record for meeting all of our aerospace client’s scheduling requirements.

2. Ask the Aerospace Photo Chemical Etching Provider for a Miniaturization Project Portfolio

Over the last few decades, parts for the aerospace industry continue to become smaller. From individual parts to machines (including drones), parts miniaturization is increasingly prevalent. Many aerospace manufacturing companies have problems in working with miniaturizations because punching, riveting, and welding is simply not practical. However, when you partner with United Western Enterprises, we use photo-resist to bond laminations. This protects the metal’s surface through the etching process as we meet the requirements of our customers who demand extremely small dimensions.  Be sure that the photo chemical etching company you work with has the equipment, engineering and design teams who can work within the forum of miniaturization, doing flawless etching.

3. Photo Chemical Etching Aerospace Component Production Range

Photo chemical etching aerospace projects should be executed by companies that can produce a wide range of components. Otherwise, you run the risk of having to outsource to a secondary provider, which can blow the budget and extend project completion timelines. Once you have confirmed that the photo chemical etching provider can use all the materials and metals required for your project, you will want to ensure that they are ankle to manufacture the following components:

  • Battery springs
  • Heat sinks
  • Custom thin metal parts
  • Apertures and multiple optical parts
  • Stabilization shims
  • EMI shielding
  • RFI shielding
  • Wire mesh
  • Electrical contacts
  • Lead frames
  • Encoder disks
  • Fine metal screens
  • Covers and lids

Etched metal flexure springs

When an aerospace photo chemical etching partner is capable of quickly producing these parts, you and your team can rest assured knowing that the manufacturer’s capabilities are vast, and they are true photo chemical etching experts.

4. Quality and Aerospace Grade Materials

Finally, you will want to find a photo chemical etching company that can demonstrate a history of using top aerospace grade materials such as titanium and producing flawless etching. Make sure that non-contact methods are used in the machining process, as this will remove the ever- present risk of distortion or heat stress. You will also want to make sure that the photo chemical etching aerospace provider creates thin metal parts that are burr free, as any existing burrs will require a new step in the manufacturing process that can destroy your budget and timeline. All parts, upon completion, should be ready for stacking, actuation, or bonding after having gone through a stress-free method.

Contact United Western Enterprises for Photo Chemical Etching Aerospace Projects

Send us your files and blueprints, and based on your specifications, we can offer you a quote and a consultation to get your project underway. We are the top aerospace photo chemical etching experts in America having completed thousands of successful projects with some of the most demanding and complex specifications.

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