You may not realize it, but the benefits of industrial etching are all around us. They’re in our homes, our workplaces, and even outer space. Chemical tooling is a detailed manufacturing process that can make metal parts large and small that are essential in our modern society. Here are some of the remarkable items made possible thanks to etched metal parts. 

1. Smartphone Parts

What you hold in your hand every day is a product of the power of etched technology. Smartphones have many metal parts inside that were chemically etched, including battery cells, speaker grills, and EMI/RFI shielding. Sometimes these parts can be salvaged or remade from old phone parts, which is why smartphone recycling is a beneficial practice to consider.

2. Telescopes

From powerful building-sized telescopes to your father’s tripod, digital tooling makes a lot of the tiny parts required for telescopes to see the heavens. If you think about it, the amazing things we have seen from the Hubble telescope would not have been possible without etched parts like the ones inside this famous telescope. Since its launch in 1990, Hubble continues to observe phenomena in space.

3. Microscope Objectives

Industrial grade tooling helps make the parts that observe things close up as well as far away. Tiny springs, gaskets, shims, and other components help build these useful tools. Microscopes play important roles in medical, scientific, welding, and manufacturing applications. For example, they are applied in the examination of quality control checks in assembly lines.

4. Medical Equipment

The equipment laid out on a surgeon’s table is made in the same way as the parts in a microscope. You guessed it – chemical tooling. Scalpels, foreceps, and mesh screens are some of the many medical devices that surgeons and dentists use every day. These special items must be precise in their applications. The intricate etched process ensures this is made possible. 

5. Spacecraft Parts

Astronauts depend on their equipment for survival in space. Every part that functions in a spacecraft is vital, from large pieces to small. Leaf springs, antennae, clip-on and board-mounted battery contacts are just a few of the countless parts inside a spaceship. Communication, travel, and a hospitable environment all depend on how these pieces perform. The safety of these astronauts begins with the parts being fine-tuned through the tooling process of chemicals. 

Etching helps make some pretty cool stuff, right? That’s not the whole list, either… chemical tooling makes a lot more. Technological advancements have helped sharpen this process by harnessing UV light and chemically cutting the material down to fractions of a single millimeter. The next time you use your smartphone, think about etching. 


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