Most technology in modern society including satellites, cars and cell phones are intricately built with thousands of small parts that need to function all together to work. Many of these small parts are made by fabricating metal alloys to precise measurements and specifications. Depending on the application, different manufacturing processes such as chemical etching, stamping and machining. Some parts require special development services. Custom metal services include RFI and EMI shielding, heat treating and plating, etc. Chemical etching is the process of creating precise shapes, apertures and openings through use of chemicals.The strong chemical removes the undesired material by dissolving the metal. While traditional metal stamping and machining are still viable options, this method is being considered for many reasons. Chemical etching reduces burrs all the while retaining the strength and performance of the metal piece. Radio frequency interference (RFI) and electromagnetic interference (EMI)such as solar flares are disturbances that affect the electrical circuits of equipment.

Electrical disturbance can easily hinder the technology’s overall performance causing loss of data. In order to prevent equipment from these disruptive signals RFI and EMI shields are utilized. Common metal alloys used for shielding are brass, bare or plated, tin plated steel, nickel silver, mu metal, and stainless steel. Typical shields are found in a variety of design options, one piece, peel away tops and two pieces. In addition to shielding parts, metal plating is quite prevalent due to its protective properties. Plating assists in protecting the base material from oxidation as well as provides other valuable features. Without getting too engrossed in the chemical reactions, oxidation is defined as the loss of electrons in atoms through exposure to oxygen.

The most generally observed example of oxidation is,rust on cars; where a solid metal turns into a flaky, corroded material. Plating such as nickel and gold can dramatically reduce corrosion and in some instances increase conductivity for electrical applications. Occasionally technological parts such as spring and contact points require special coatings and finishing.Heat treating is used to change the metallurgical properties of a metal. The heating and cooling process alter the physical and sometimes chemical nature of the metal to attain either a harder or softer state. During the prototyping process, there are many variables that are addressed before mass production. Each metal part is unique in its design application and desired function.Variables such as metal type, dimensions and tolerances, can greatly affect the final outcome and make a big difference on a product’s performance.

This article is provided by United Western Enterprises – A industrial metal engineering company that specializes in Stainless Steel Etching and EMI Shielding Materials.

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