There are many ways to produce metal components. One such process is chemical milling. Chemical milling is a process that removes material from an object by applying a liquid or gas to the surface and then removing the material that was dissolved in this liquid or gaseous medium. The main advantage of chemical milling is its ability to remove intricate features, which makes it well suited for high precision parts and dies used in manufacturing industries such as aerospace, semiconductors, medical devices, consumer electronics, and the automotive industry. In this article, we will discuss what you need to know about the chemical milling process so you can decide if it’s right for your project.
How chemical milling works
The chemical milling uses additive manufacturing techniques to selectively machine materials using liquids or gases as media for etching away parts of the workpiece. This technique does not require traditional machining tools such as drills, mills, grinders, etc., but instead features high-speed jets (liquid) and plasma arcs (gas). The main steps in the chemical milling process are:
- Material removal by immersion.
- Application of a catalyst to remove dissolved particles from the object’s surface.
- Removal of material that has been dissolved with water or other fluids, which is removed through evaporation and/or rinsing.
Benefits of chemical milling
Chemical milling has become increasingly popular as a CNC machining process. And this is so because it has numerous benefits that we will be highlighting below;
- It can be used in different applications
One of the main benefits of chemical milling is that it can be used in different applications. It’s not limited to specific parts or materials, which broadens its reach throughout many industries.
- Chemical milling helps save time and money
Another benefit of chemical milling is that this process helps save a considerable amount of both time and money for the customer because there are no tools required. Instead, only chemicals are needed. This means lower costs overall compared with other processes such as EDM, where you need a new wire every time.
- Maintains the properties of the materials
Chemical milling also ensures that the properties of the materials and parts stay intact. So, there’s no need to worry about losing any strength or durability in the items you mill because this process helps preserve them.
- No heat damage with chemical milling
Finally, one more thing that separates chemical milling from other processes is less risk for heat damage. This type of work doesn’t require as much pressure when taking material off apart, which means it won’t get hot like other things such as laser cutting or water jetting. The temperature remains low throughout this whole operation, so there isn’t any concern regarding potential changes within your metal components’ structure and composition due to high temperatures during removal operations.
Now that you have gone through this read, you are in a better position to decide if chemical milling would be the best fit for your project. It is a great option for all types of metal parts as it preserves the original material, so there isn’t any risk of heat damage.