Manufacturing Bespoke Aesthetic and Functional Surfaces Via Photochemical Machining, Electrolytic Photoetching and Electrolytic Photopolishing Techniques

Manufacturing Bespoke Aesthetic and Functional Surfaces Via Photochemical Machining, Electrolytic Photoetching and Electrolytic Photopolishing Techniques

This paper reviews an aspect of photoetching that is rarely discussed. There is an increasing need in manufacturing and micromachining applications to produce specific types of surfaces for either aesthetic or functional requirements including:

  • non-directional, light-scattering, matt surface finishes for visual contrast enhancement in a half-etch,
  • smooth surface finishes for optical reflection, laminar flow in microfluidic devices and particle filtration applications,
  • very rough textured surfaces for abrasive applications and
  • textured surfaces to reduce friction and wear for tribological requirements.
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The Effects Of Additives On The Physical Properties Of Electroformed Nickel And On The Stretch Of Photoelectroformed Nickel Components

The Effects Of Additives On The Physical Properties Of Electroformed Nickel And On The Stretch Of Photoelectroformed Nickel Components

The process of nickel electroforming is becoming increasingly important in the manufacture of MST products, as it has the potential to replicate complex geometries with extremely high fidelity. Electroforming of nickel uses multi-component electrolyte formulations in order to maximise desirable product properties. In addition to nickel sulphamate (the major electrolyte component), formulation additives can also comprise nickel chloride (to increase nickel anode dissolution), sulphamic acid (to control pH), boric acid (to act as a pH buffer), hardening/levelling agents (to increase deposit hardness and lustre) and wetting agents (to aid surface wetting and thus prevent gas bubbles and void formation).

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Extraction and Recycling of Dissolved Nickel from Ferric Chloride Etchant: Economic, Technical and Environmental Considerations

Extraction and Recycling of Dissolved Nickel from Ferric Chloride Etchant:  Economic, Technical and Environmental Considerations

Emeritus Professor of Microengineering, Cranfield University, UK

This paper was presented at the PCMI Conference, Chantilly, France on 20th May 2019

As nickel-containing metals are dissolved into ferric chloride etchant, the concentration of nickel ion builds up in solution even when the etchant is being regenerated. Above a critical dissolved nickel concentration, an unacceptable rough surface finish will become apparent in any half-etch areas of parts leading to product rejection and increased costs.

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Journal December 2019

Journal December 2019

This Journal contains the technical papers and presentations from the Fall 2019 International Conference held in the United States in Geneva, New York, at the Ramada Geneva Lakefront Hotel from October 12 – 16, 2019.

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Strengthening the Weakest Links in the PCM Process Chain- #3 Reduction of the Environmental Impact of PCM

Strengthening the Weakest Links in the PCM Process Chain-  #3 Reduction of the Environmental Impact of PCM

PCM involves many processes in its production process chain and each process has an
associated environmental impact. To remain competitive with rival processes, PCM must
minimise its overall environmental impact as the costs of environmental compliance are
currently increasing at a rapid rate.
This paper reviews the environmental impact of each process in the PCM process chain and
suggests how it can be minimised utilising clean technologies (employing radical revision
and/or innovative modification), waste minimisation through improved quality control,
recycling and ‘end of pipe’ treatments to meet emission requirements.
The costs of environmental impact reduction are also discussed together with the various
financial benefits accrued.

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Journal August 2020

Journal August 2020

This Journal contains the following:

  • 2020 Industry Trends Survey Summary;
  • Coronavirus Assistance and Business Trends Survey Summary;
  • Virtual Technical and Spring Conference News;
  • Information about the Benefits of the new Member Product Spotlight and Membership Spotlight Advertising Opportunity;
  • Board Election Results;
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Characterisation of aqueous ferric chloride etchants used in industrial photochemical machining

Characterisation of aqueous ferric chloride etchants used in industrial photochemical machining

June 2005

Dr. David M. Allen and Dr. Heather J.A. Almond, School of Industrial and Manufacturing Science, Cranfield University, Bedford, UK

Characterisation of Aqueous Ferric Chloride Etchants Used in Industrial Photochemical Machining

Ferric cbloride (FeCI3) is the most commonly used etchant for photochemical machining (PCM) but there is a great variety in the grades of the commercial product.

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