Though both etching and engraving are roughly similar terms still they are completely different from each other while using them for creating markings, designs and images of different types of materials. In order to know which process will be preferred by Qualitech you will have to understand differences between these two methods. Some of the major differences between these two manufacturing processes are discussed in the engraving vs etching provided here under.
Etching vs Engraving
Effect on substrate materials: Both of these methods affect substrate uniquely. The indentation made by engraving on the surface of a material is conical in shape whereas etching vaporizes the layer of the surface of the material to create a high contrast marking.
Depth of cutting: A vast difference between the depth of cuts made by etching and engraving can be noticed when seen under a microscope. Engraving makes deeper cuts than etching as it removes more material through from the surface of the material, depending upon the material used. It is because the cone-shaped indentation of engraving is used several times on the same part to create design effectively. The cut made by etching is shallower than engraving as it vaporizes a layer of the material. The chemical used for etching leaves an impression on the material after melting its surface
Machines used: Engraving is done by using laser machines controlled by using particular software so that the settings of the laser can be changed by the user as per the requirements of the design. Though similar laser machines can also be used for etching but their power setting is changed by the user. Etching can also be done without using laser machines like by using the process of photo chemical etching etc.
Versatility: Both of these methods of creating designs are very versatile as they can be used on a variety of materials as well as applications. But engraving is more effective than etching as it can be used on different types of materials like plastics, metals, leather, wood, glass and acrylic etc. But etching can be done mainly on various types of metals, ceramics and polymers like metal plates, etc.
Durability: Durability of the design created on metal parts is more important while producing then on mass scale or as prototype. The designs created by engraving can be more durable than etching as they are cut deeper than the later ones. Te etched designs are more likely to fade from the items that are used more frequently like jewelry etc. So it is better to engrave designs for such items.
In this way, after going through engraving vs etching discussed in this write-up it can be concluded that both of these methods of creating designs on various types of surfaces are incredibly versatile. They can be used by various types of industries and businesses as per their requirements. But Qualitech may prefer to use etching over engraving. They produce high precision metal parts and etching is a cost effective and time-saving method for this purpose than engraving.