LIGONIER, Ind.—Advanced Metal Etching, a photochemical etching supplier of thin metal components, is expanding its services to include aluminum etching for customers in markets with robust demand for aluminum. Among these  markets is transportation—specifically, automotive and aerospace.

The addition of aluminum photo etching services will enable Advanced Metal Etching to better serve existing customers and offer capacity for companies that are increasing their aluminum products or looking to expand the supply chain to mitigate risk. According to IndustryARC, aluminum will grow at a CAGR of 4.2 percent during the forecast period 2019-2025.

“We experienced an increase in RFQs for aluminum etched components in the past six months, mainly from the automotive, aerospace, and electronics industries,” said Blake Geer, co-president and CFO of Advanced Metal Etching, in a company release. “More OEMs and their suppliers are utilizing the unique properties of aluminum, such as the high strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, and better performance in extreme temperatures. Compared to steel, aluminum contributes to better fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions.”

Photo etching aluminum has many advantages. The chemical etching process achieves burr-free surfaces and precision edges without altering the metal properties. It is also more cost-effective than other methods for parts with unique designs or numerous features, the company said.

For example, aircraft heat exchanger plates and automotive bipolar fuel cell plates contain multiple channels on one or both sides. The photo etching process machines all features simultaneously, providing faster turnaround with a lower cost than other manufacturing processes.

Photo chemical etching is not limited to mechanical and electronic components. Decorative dashboard covers made of aluminum, such as speaker grills, are an excellent use of the etching process. The numerous holes are etched quickly, making it a low-cost machining option.

Advanced Metal Etching, Inc. (https://metaletching.com), located in Ligonier, Indiana, is an ISO 9001:2015 certified and ITAR registered  provider of thin metal components. The company  serves industries that include automotive, aerospace, medical, electronics, and RF microwave.

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