Aluminium Etching Process Now an Efficient Reality - March 2013

Aluminium Etching Process

Advanced Chemical Etching (ACE) has developed a new and highly efficient etching chemistry that it claims can improve the quality and dimensional tolerance accuracy of aluminium component manufacture to a new high.

Aluminium and its alloys are increasingly prized in engineering for their lightweight durability that enables energy saving. However, they are generally considered to be difficult, slow and inefficient to etch using conventional chemistry. Consequently many users resort to punching, stamping or laser cutting to produce profiles but this comes at a cost… stressing and heat distortion of the metal and the production of burr edges that have to be removed in a separate process.

With the introduction of its ACmE™ process (Aluminium Compliant molecular Etching) ACE has a proven production route that is not only far quicker but also safer, and more controllable. It produces higher quality components with burr-free crisp edges and higher definition features that could not have been contemplated using the old technology.

This new and exciting ACmE™ technology has been developed as part of a KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) in association with a local University. ACE personnel have worked closely with University experts and the company based KTP Associate post-graduate to design the chemical reaction at a molecular level and subsequently develop the process to optimise its efficiency.

Says Ian Whateley, ACE Managing Director, “This is a perfect example of enterprise working closely with academia in order to turn what was a black art into a science”.