Chemical Etching is an efficient manufacturing process which allows you to create high-precision metal parts in complex shapes and patterns. More often than not, especially in industrial scale production, Chemical Etching is the most cost-effective as well.

This is the conclusion we reached after comparing Chemical Etching to other metal fabrication technologies such as StampingLaser Cutting, EDM, CNC, and Water Jetting, in our previous blogs.

But cost isn’t the only thing that matters. Here we talk about other factors that need to be taken into consideration:

  • Material Range
  • Tolerances
  • Precision
  • Quality
  • Lead Time

material: what can be etched?

Chemical etching is perfect for producing burr- and stress-free parts with a wide range of materials. Almost any metal can be etched. These include -but are not limited to:

  • Stainless Steels: wide Range of Austenitic, Ferritic and Martensitic Stainless Steels
  • Mild Steel, Carbon Steel, Tool Steel, Spring Steel
  • Aluminum: Including Aircraft/Aerospace grades
  • Molybdenum
  • Nickel Alloys: Inconels, Mu-Metal, Alloy 42 (Nilo 42), Invar
  • Copper: Including C110 and C101 (Oxygen Free)
  • Brass, Phosphor Bronze, Beryllium Copper, Nickel Silver

These materials are most commonly used for chemical etching, but other materials might also be suitable for the technique. If you have another type of material in mind, please contact us with your specifications so we can help confirm if chemical etching is what you need.

tolerances

If tight tolerances are a strict requirement for your product, Chemical Etching can be a good option, compared to traditional manufacturing processes.

Tolerance typically seen on chemically etched features is only around +/- 10% of the parts’ thickness. Chemical etching is especially suitable when round holes, sharp edges and straight or profiled edges are desired.

precision: how small do you need to go?

Since the biggest design challenges often involve the smallest and most precise part of your product, it’s important to know the precision of a manufacturing method. With chemical etching, you can go as small as 30 μm, making it one of the most high-precision manufacturing processes.

quality: aesthetics matter too

With chemical etching, you can create ultra smooth burr- and stress-free parts with a high cosmetic finish, which is important for many applications. Chemical etching is especially suitable when round holes, sharp edges and straight or profiled edges are desired.

Challenge us to develop a prototype for you and we can prove it to you.

lead time: rapid prototyping

If you need prototypes — and you need them fast — then chemical etching is the way to go. With this subtractive manufacturing method, prototypes can be produced from drawings in a matter of days. Moreover, chemical etching allows you to move from prototyping to industrial scale production almost instantly.

Note: the ability to quickly transit from prototyping to industrial scale production can be credited to the specific process we use which means the majority of production parameters are already in place from when your sample is created.

To learn more about Chemical Etching in detail and how it can help to enhance your products and their production, see our whitepaper on Chemical Etching.

View our video explaining the steps of the process.