Flatness, recoil and fatigue strength are attributes that must not be compromised during flat profile spring manufacture. Stamping deforms spring steel, compromising flatness. Laser cutting leaves a rough edge that could fatigue fracture. Both processes cause burrs that need to be removed by tumbling, a process that adds cost and compromises the material surface finish.
Photo etching does not alter the material properties or structure of spring steel
Burr- and stress-free spring manufacture
As a non-contact, non-heat inducing machining process, photo etching does not alter the material properties or structure of spring steel. This ensures burr-and stress-free springs can be manufactured with zero distortion or surface imperfections.
Zero tool wear
Because photo-etch tooling is digital, set-up costs are low and design iterations speedy. With zero tool wear –unlike expensive press tooling – etching is competitive in production quantities.
Photo etching is suitable for all spring steels, regardless of hardness or temper. We typically specify Sandvik strip steels and 301 and 17-7 PH stainless steel grades.
As one of the world’s few production etching specialists, Precision Micro supply over one million springs each month for a diverse range of applications, including ABS braking, fuel injection, catalytic converters, satellite cryogenic coolers, microphone diaphragms, camera image stabilisation and cochlear implants.