September '21

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5 6 G R A P H I C S P R O S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M A brasive etching — more common- ly known as sandblasting or sand- carving — is a process that re- quires some careful thought when planning your shop floor layout. Before you can do this, it's important to understand the basics of the actual process, and be fa- miliar with each of the steps required be- fore and after the actual etching process. SOME BASICS The abrasive etching process uses either an aluminum oxide or silicone carbide grit that is sprayed under pressure to physically remove a layer(s) of (usually) glass or crystal from its surface. For the trophy and award market, a photoresist mask or laser mask is applied to the sur- face of the substrate prior to abrasive etching, and it is then removed after the etching has been done. Photoresist masks are used for flat, curved, convex, or concave surfaces. This type of mask provides excellent detail with crisp lines. Laser masks are normally used for flat surfaces, with the mask artwork being burned by the laser after the mask has been applied. Laser masks do not have Shop Floor Layout Considerations for Abrasive Etching Glass or Crystal B Y B A R R Y S L E E Seen here is a nice combo of high-quality abrasive etching and gold color-fill. (Image courtesy CrystalEdge) A W A R D S & C U S T O M I Z AT I O N

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