Basically speaking, a shim is a skinny piece of metal, almost shaped like a wedge. You will usually find them in a number of applications to help level the components or to fill in smaller gaps. They are used mostly as support, to adjust for a much better fit or to help create a more level surface. In some other applications, they will be used as a spacer to help fill in the gaps between parts that may be more subject to wear and tear.
A shim can be used in a wide range of industries, including automobile manufacturing. For example, they are used on a regular basis to help correct the spacing between the bucket tappets to help control valve clearances. This spacing amount can be tweaked simply by modifying the shim thickness that is produced. Finalized shims will be developed in the manufacturing and production of assemblies and parts.
When it comes to utilizing photo chemical etching over your traditional stamping methods to make shims, you will have a number of benefits. There are a lot of manufacturers that are able to order just about any shape that they need and any quality that they are looking for, which is wonderful for saving both time and money.
If you happen to have a case where you may only have to have a small quantity that is produced, the photo chemical etching process will more than likely be the most cost efficient way to go over stamping. The manufacturer is only going to have to purchase what is needed and when they actually need it. This will then help to cut down on any overhead costs. At the same time, photo chemical etching to produce shims will give you a very quick turnaround. A set of custom shims can be easily made to order for any application and to fit in with any dimension.
When it comes time to order a custom shim, there are always a few different things that you need to consider. To start with, you need to find out the exact dimensions of the pieces you will need. Next, you can think about the kind of material that you want to use in order to create the shim. The process of photo chemical etching can be used for a variety of metals, all which have different metallurgic properties that can be helpful in a variety of conditions.
To meet up with certain requirements for function and defined tolerances, the used of precise metal shims made of the right metal will be used. Finally, another thing that you may want to take into consideration is whether or not you want to be using any metal that is known for having magnetic properties. If you are hesitant about ordering too many shims that could end up having the wrong metallic properties or they are the wrong dimension, you will find that going with photo chemical etching is the best route. This will be the right way to create prototypes until you find the perfect shim to meet your needs.