Copper chemical etching is an excellent process for applications in the electrical and electronic industries. This soft metal possesses high thermal and electrical conductivity and is one of the easier metals to photo-chemically machine or etch.
The most common industrial application of etched Copper is the foil in printed circuit boards (PCBs), however acid etching of Copper has limitless applications. Its properties can be enhanced for specific applications by creating an alloy with another metal. For example, adding Beryllium increases physical strength.
Fotofab's chemical etching process produces designs that can withstand harsh indoor and outdoor environments. The process uses a strong caustic chemical to etch into unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design or image formed to your project's specifications.
Fotofab products are made in the USA and distributed worldwide.
Characteristics of Copper
- High electrical and thermal conductivity that is second only to Silver
- Durable for forming, stamping, bending, and chemical etching
- Corrosion-resistant which can be enhanced with plating or coating (important in high-frequency applications where "skin-effect" issues must be considered)
- Soft, ductile, and malleable so it can be drawn, "stretched," or flattened in various shapes and sizes
- Accepts soldering without special preparation or materials
Applications of Etched Copper
Copper is used in almost anywhere that there is an electrical circuit path on a printed circuit board, within an electrical component, such as a connector, or as a transitional device between circuit boards, including:
- Electrical contacts, pins, terminals, and connectors
- Formed metal enclosures for hybrid electronic circuits
- EMI/RFI shielding on printed circuit boards
- UHF/microwave antennas and waveguides
- Lead frames
- Inserts for injection molding
- Fuse links and bus bars
- Board-level EMI/RFI shields
- Shielded enclosures with snap-on lids
- Copper is an abundant metal, but prices have historically varied with significant market fluctuations
- Bare Copper may cause an electrochemical reaction when in contact with some other metals
- Copper is used mostly as a pure metal, but when greater hardness is required, it is put into such alloys as brass and bronze
Copper-Molybdenum is a composite material that has similar thermal properties to Tungsten-Copper. Its low density makes it suitable for applications where weight limitations are a factor. The combination of high thermal conductivity and low thermal expansion make Copper-Molybdenum perfect for semiconductor substrates, high power devices, electrical contacts, and more.