Chemical etching, also known as chemical milling or photo etching, is a subtractive sheet metal machining process which uses chemical etchants to create complex and highly accurate precision components from almost any metal.
We have been at the forefront of etching technology for almost 60 years. This is because our unmatched chemical etching process know-how enables us to offer a fast, economical, quality-assured etching service for the widest range of metals.→ Get in touch
We use low-cost, automated digital tooling which can be created and changed extremely quickly and cost-effectively. This ensures risk-free prototyping without financial penalty.
Photo-etched components are burr and stress-free with no mechanical force or heat used, leaving material properties unaltered.
Because component features are etched all at the same time, we can offer almost limitless part complexity to micron accuracy.
Company logos, part numbers or serial numbers can also be etched into the surface of the component during manufacture at no additional cost.
Our full range of service benefits include:
The chemical etching process works by ‘printing’ a component design onto photoresist which is laminated onto metal. The areas of photoresist which have not been printed are removed, exposing the metal, which is subsequently etched away.
We process more than 100 tonnes of sheet metal from over 2,000 metal types each year – more than any other chemical etching supplier.
Our customers benefit from these purchasing economies and the wide variety of metals we hold in stock.
Typical materials include:
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Precision Micro has pioneered photo etching for over half a century, setting the standard for accuracy and repeatability. Our 10-strong technical team includes PhD and degree-qualified engineers, metallurgists and chemists, pioneers of advanced production techniques for components and materials once thought too difficult —even impossible —to photo etch.
We are the only photo etching company accredited to AS 9100, IATF 16949, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 13485, so you can rely on the stability and capability of our processes. Our robust quality systems are underpinned by a continuous quality improvement programme which ensures repeatability levels approaching Six Sigma standards.
At 44,000 sq ft, our state-of-the-art photo etching plant offers the largest sheet etching capacity in Europe. Key technologies include a class 10,000 clean room, cut-sheet lamination for blemish-free components, laser direct imaging for finer components, Europe’s largest, fastest most reliable titanium etching service, product-specific manufacturing cells and a best-in-class in-house metrology facility.
We specialise in etching proprietary super-alloys which exhibit excellent mechanical strength, resistance to thermal creep deformation, good surface stability and resistance to corrosion or oxidation.
We stock the widest range of standard and specialist material types and grades in thicknesses from 0.010mm-1.5mm and in sheet sizes to 600mm x 1500mm.
We have sales offices and partners in locations that enable us to respond quickly to customer requirements. Our sales engineering team has first-hand knowledge of photo etching and can advise on design parameters which lower manufacturing costs.
We offer a number of additional in-house services which can be combined with photo etching to produce components with greater accuracy, unique characteristics and improved functionality, reducing customers’ supplier base and time-to-market.
Precision Micro is well-invested, enabling us to deliver the levels of product quality, productivity and competitiveness expected by major international companies.