The Environmental Impact of Ferric Chloride Etchant in Photochemical Machining; Part 1, Preliminary Survey Results

In order for PCM to remain economically competi­tive with other alternative manufacturing processes such as stamping, wire-EDM and laser cutting, it is es­sential that PCM costs are minimized. In a recent pa­per(!), the question was asked as to whether PCM uses FeC13 efficiently. This paper is an attempt to find an answer to that question and presents the results of a preliminary survey of PCMl member companies who responded to a questionnaire concerning the consump­tion of FeC1:i and the quantities of metals etched.

The questionnaire elicited fifteen replies, all from job-shops based in nine different countries from three continents. As the vast majority of these companies wished the answers to be kept confidential, the authors decided that all the results would be kept confidential and each company was assigned a letter of the alphabet so that the company could assess its performance both in isolation and in comparison with other companies.


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