Titanium etching is a subtractive metal machining process which uses specialist etchant chemistry to profile complex, highly accurate components from thin gauge titanium sheet metal 0.01mm-1mm thick.
Precision Micro is one of the only chemical etching or chemical milling companies to offer a titanium etching service, and the only supplier in Europe accredited to ISO 13485 (medical devices) and AS 9100 (aerospace, defence and space) ensuring the quality, stability, reliability and repeatability of our etching process.
How do you etch titanium?
The process for etching titanium consists of the following stages.
- First, sheet titanium is cleaned then laminated with photoresist, a light-sensitive polymer
- The photoresist is then exposed to UV-light which transfers the CAD image of the component
- Areas of unexposed resist are removed (developed) to reveal the raw titanium
- The sheet is sprayed with specialist etchant chemistry, selectively removing the unprotected titanium
- The remaining photoresist is removed (stripped) to reveal the final etched titanium component
Titanium etching benefits
Our market-leading titanium etching service comes with all of the existing benefits of chemical etching, including:
- Low-cost digital tooling, which can be adapted or changed quickly allowing for risk-free design optimisation
- No mechanical force or heat meaning components are burr-free, stress-free and flat
- Almost limitless part complexity
- Fast lead-times measured in days, not months
Chemical etching opens up an array of possibilities for applications which require a combination of light weight, strength, corrosion resistance and biocompatibility.
- Cranial and dental implants benefit from burr-free openings. Complex aperture arrays and countersinks can be included at no additional cost.
- Ultra-thin battery current collector grids used in pacemakers can be etched from titanium with ultra-fine wires, ensuring reliable energy supply from a smaller footprint.
- Chemical etching titanium foils used in satellite fuel tanks ensures they are thinner – from 0.010mm – and flatter for easier assembly.
- Combining etching and diffusion bonding ensures complex cooling channels can be incorporated into titanium plate heat exchangers at a fraction of the price of conventional machining or laser drilling.
- Titanium membranes used in hearing aids can be made thinner, stronger and more reliable.