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ISO 9001:2008 - AS9100:2009 REV C CERTIFICATION

Photo Etching

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Flat Parts Photo Etching Design Guide

Tech-Etch specializes in the manufacture of light gauge metal parts. Photo etching produces intricate components with exacting tolerances that are impossible to duplicate by other processes.

All dimensions, tolerances and configurations are functions of the thickness of the material being photo etched and should be considered during the design process. The following guide gives practical limitations for slots, spaces, holes and construction dimensions with relation to metal thickness for photo chemical milling.

See Figures 1 and 2 at the right for a pictoral representation of the features referenced. In many cases it may be possible to exceed these photo etching limitations, but with a reduction in yield percentage. Consult the factory for design assistance when these situations occur.
Precision Formed Parts

Figures 1 and 2

Tolerance Graphic

Dimensions

HOLES / SLOTS
Generally, the diameter of a hole or the width of a slot cannot be less than the metal thickness. This relationship varies as the metal thickness changes. A more exact relationship is illustrated in Table 1.

INSIDE CORNER RADIUS
The smallest inside corner radius is directly proportional to the metal thickness. Consult the factory if a smaller or sharp radius is required.

OUTSIDE CORNER RADIUS
The outside corner radius will be at least .75 of the material thickness.

FINGERS / WEBS
Generally, the width of a finger or web cannot be less than the metal thickness. This relationship varies as the metal thickness changes. A more exact relationship is illustrated in Table 2.

Table 1. HOLES OR SLOTS
Metal Thickness (T) Diameter or Width
.001"-.005" 1.1 Times Metal Thickness
(Min. .003")
.005" or Over Min. of 1.1 Times Metal Thickness
Table 2. WEB OR FINGER
Spaces Between Holes (W) At Least Metal Thickness

Tolerances

CENTER TO CENTER
Generally, the tolerances are a result of the stability of the photo tooling material. Table 3 illustrates the practical tolerances attainable from industry standard Mylar tooling. Consult the factory for information on alternate tooling materials.

PHOTO ETCHED DIMENSIONS
Generally, a tolerance of ± 15% of the material thickness is practical. A more exact relationship is illustrated in Table 4.
Table 3. CENTER TO CENTER TOLERANCES
C/C Dimensions (inches) Tolerance Attainable
 1.0" or Less  ±.0005"
 1.0" - 3.0"  ±.0010"
 3.0" - 6.0"  ±.0020"
 6.0" - 10.0"  ±.0030"
Table 4. ETCHED DIMENSION TOLERANCES
Thickness (T) (inches)
.001" .002" .005" .010" .015" .020" .040"
Empirical ±.0010" ±.0010" ±.0015" ±.0020" ±.0030" ±.0050"
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