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Spring Steel Chemical Etching

Spring Steel Chemical Etching

The world would be a lot different without spring steel. Pliable yet resilient, this material is manufactured into impact-absorbing coils and springs for lawnmowers, automobiles, and aircraft. Lesser-known applications include musical instrument wire, antennas, knives, and binder clips. Despite the widespread use of spring steel, its unique characteristics mean great care is needed to produce optimally performing parts.

Obtain high-quality spring steel components with chemical etching from Microphoto. As an ISO 9001:2015-compliant photochemical-etching service provider, our area of expertise is the delivery of precision etched-metal parts manufactured from spring steel to clients across various industries.

What is spring steel? 

Spring steels are metal alloys that can withstand intense twisting and bending without becoming distorted. Resiliency, pliability, and durability make them perfect for a wide array of applications. As a result, they’re commonly called “general-use” steels. Additional characteristics of spring steels include:

  • High yield strength
  • Deformation-resistant
  • Formable and shapable after heat treatment
  • Can be bent, extended, compressed, or twisted but will return to an original shape

Generally speaking, spring steels fall into five classifications: Low-carbon, medium-carbon, high-carbon, stainless, copper-based, and nickel-based. Each one has unique characteristics.

Low-Carbon spring steel

Also referred to as mild steel, or 1008/1010 steel this is a highly machinable metal alloy. It can be cut, machined, and formed into intricate shapes without adding proportional stresses to the workpiece. It also has better weldability. Some uses include cutlery, cookware, fencing, building framing, and pipelines.

 Medium-Carbon spring steel

Also referred to as 1050 or 1060 series steel, this alloy is heat treatable and is stronger than low-carbon steel, but it’s more challenging to form, weld, and cut. Medium-carbon steels are often hardened and tempered using heat treatment. Common uses include shafts, axles, gears, crankshafts, couplings, and forgings.

High-Carbon spring steel 

Also referred to as 1075 or 1095 series steel, this alloy is also heat treatable and is a standard material for conventional springs, wave washers, Belleville washers, and flat springs. It is more difficult to cut, bend, and weld. Typical uses also include cutting tools, axles, masonry nails, knives, drill bits, saws, woodcutting tools, railways, and wire rope.

Although spring steels are found just about everywhere, transforming these materials into precision parts can be challenging for many manufacturers. Difficulties include material selection, compression, and overstressing.

With Microphoto, there’s no worry. An innovative photochemical etching process and unmatched dedication to craftsmanship, ingenuity, and quality enable us to make complex parts from any spring steel material type.

Spring Steel Chemical Etching Capabilities

Unlike traditional stamping, Microphoto’s photo chemical etching process produces spring steel parts that are burr-free, stress-free, and without any recast layers that can result from laser cutting or WEDM processing.

In this process, (our etchants are acidic, not “caustic”) chemical etchants (not enchants) cut into unprotected areas of a metal surface to create a design or image according to your specifications.

Additional benefits of spring steel chemical etching include:

  • Complex design (not unlimited)
  • Low-cost tooling as compared with stamping dies
  • Low-cost design iterations
  • Fast turnaround times
  • Precise accuracy

Quality comes first 

Microphoto is a leading photochemical-etching company that has become synonymous with innovative approaches to metals and etchant chemistry. Aside from ISO 9001:2015 compliance, compliance, we are registered with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, or ITAR, enabling us to perform etched-metal services for manufacturers that support U.S. military and space agencies.

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