Benefits at a glance
- Unlimited complexity – you only pay for the first hole
- No expensive hard tooling required
- Low-cost design iterations – fast
- Burr and stress-free – metal properties unaffected
- Lead-times in days, not months
- Virtually any metal
- Accuracy to ±0.025mm
What is chemical etching?
Chemical etching, also known as photo etching, metal etching or chemical milling, is a subtractive metal machining process which uses etchant chemistry to produce complex, highly accurate metal components.
What metal can be etched?
For feature dense, tight tolerance parts profiled from thin gauge metals to 1.5mm thick – including stainless steel, aluminium, nickel, brass, copper and titanium – the chemical etching process provides an economical alternative to stamping, punching, laser and waterjet cutting.
Design optimisation without financial penalty
The tooling for chemical etching is digital, meaning no expensive “hard” tooling is required. Digital tooling can be adapted and changed extremely quickly allowing for risk-free design optimisation without financial penalty.
Accurate, complex, burr- and stress-free components
Unlike traditional sheet metalworking, no mechanical force or heat is used during the chemical etching process. This means that material properties are unaltered and etched components are free from stresses and burrs. Also, as component features are machined simultaneously almost limitless part complexity is achievable, with accuracy to ±0.025mm.
Precision Micro: Europe’s market-leading chemical etching company
Operating from its state-of-the-art processing plant in Birmingham, UK, Precision Micro manufactures more than 50 million high-precision metal components each year for major global manufacturing customers across multiple markets.
The relationship with our customers has been central to our success, collaborating at every stage of the product development cycle and continually investing in R&D and best-in-class technology to ensure we achieve the most cost-effective, timely and accurate outcomes.
Why partner with us?
- Unrivalled know-how – Precision Micro has pioneered chemical etching for over half a century
- Proven capability – AS 9100, IATF 16949, ISO 13485, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 accredited
- Largest capacity – 44,000 sq ft state-of-the-art photo etching plant
- Material know-how – hard-to-machine metals and dedicated titanium etching service
- 2,000+ metal variants – standard and specialist material types and grades
- Global support – we have sales offices and partners in locations that enable us to respond quickly to demand
- Added value – we offer a number of additional services including wire EDM, electropolishing, forming, finishing and plating