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.
Examples of the above bespoke surfaces and their methods of fabrication using photochemical machining, electrolytic photoetching and electrolytic photopolishing are discussed.