Photo etching, also known as chemical etching or photochemical machining, is a highly precise, cost-effective metal machining process used to produce complex components from a wide range of metals.
We offer a market-leading photo etching service, specialising in the co-development of photo-etched component solutions for leading companies in more than 30 countries.→ Get in touch
Using digital phototooling, we can produce and modify prototypes extremely quickly, ensuring low-cost, risk-free design optimisation.
When component integrity is critical, etching is often the only suitable metal machining technology as metal properties are unaffected.
No mechanical force or heat is used during our etching process, meaning components are free from stresses and burrs.
Photochemical machining is the most economical option for producing custom parts with complex designs as cost rarely ever increases with design complexity.
Company logos, part numbers or serial numbers can also be photo-etched into the surface of the parts during etching at no additional cost.
Full range of benefits:
The Photo 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.
Our photo etching service allows us to manufacture precision components from almost any sheet metal.
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.