Hydraulics & Pneumatics November/December 2023

HYDRAULICS Karl Martinson, Director of Business Development – North America, micrometal Etching Group believes that the company’s ‘next generation’ photochemical etching (PCE) process has refined an already precise metal fabrication technology into a disruptive and game changing technology that is promoting design freedom throughout numerous industrial sectors. One such is in the design and manufacture of high transmission filter in industrial applications based around fluid flow and filtration. Martinson says that the unique characteristics of PCE enhanced by his company allow the production of very thin filters with variable hole geometries that can be varied within a single pattern, all of which enhances the efficiency, costeffectiveness, and longevity of filters used in often harsh or high pressure environments. As such, PCE has emerged as a process that could offer advantages in terms of precision, flexibility, and reduced material waste, when compared to traditional filters made from porous ceramics, woven mesh, wire mesh, polymers, or fabric. PCE of high transmission filters The use of light-weight compact thin metal filters allows them to be seamlessly integrated inline within a system without the need for extensive external plumbing or additional support structures. Their lightweight and space-efficient nature make them ideal for applications where minimising system footprint and weight is crucial, such as in aerospace or portable equipment, streamlining the overall system design and installation process. Producing thinner, lightweight hightransmission filters with improved filtration efficiency and versatility in hole patterns offers several significant advantages in industrial applications. Firstly, Martinson says thinner and lighter filters reduce the overall weight and size of filtration systems, which can lead to cost savings in terms of material usage and transportation. Moreover, these filters are easier to handle, install, and replace, reducing labour and maintenance efforts. He adds, that PCE is an ideal process for manufacturing high-transmission industrial filters for several reasons. Firstly, it allows for precise and intricate designs with micro-scale accuracy. Intricate filter patterns and shapes can be etched onto various substrates, enabling the creation of highly efficient filters with well-defined openings. This level of precision is challenging to achieve with traditional methods and ensures that the filters effectively capture and remove contaminants while allowing a high flow rate of fluids or gases. Thin metal filters produced through the PCE process offer exceptional strength and durability, allowing them to withstand significantly higher pressures compared to traditional filters made from woven mesh, polymers, or fabric. This strength arises from the inherent characteristics of metals like stainless steel or aluminium, which have superior mechanical properties such as high 20 HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS November/December 2023 www.hpmag.co.uk Innovative solution for modern industrial filtration needs H&P takes a look at the possibilities of filters made using micrometal’s ‘next generation’ PCE process, and the application areas that could benefit from its use.