Electroforming is a fabrication process through which a highly accurate negative replica is produced from a mandrel or master surface. Electroforming also stands out in terms of high repeat-ability and complex thin metal products. The highly resolution of the conductive patterned substrate allows finer geometries, tighter tolerances and superior edge definition. Electroforming has roots in electroplating, and is very similar in most respects, with the main difference being that the plated material (the electro-form) is separated from the mandrel leaving a freestanding metal article which has all of the physical characteristics including surface finish and geometry as the shape on the the mandrel. An electrolytic bath is used in this process to deposit metal (nickel) onto a conductive patterned surface; The electro-formed part can be stripped off the mandrel, once the material is plated in the desired thickness. The process allows for the forming of simple or complex shapes that exhibit the features of the parent mandrel to the smallest detail.
Electroforming is a unique metal fabrication process that is indispensable in producing many items with which we have daily contact. It is also sufficiently versatile that it is used successfully to produce huge components for the aerospace and automotive industries and yet is able to perfectly replicate surfaces with micron size features.
- Micro nozzles
- MEMS components
- Slits and Targets
- Shadow/Evaporation masks