What is stainless steel etching?
Stainless steel etching is a subtractive metal machining process which uses etchant chemistry to produce complex, highly accurate metal components. It offers a cost-effective alternative to stamping, punching, laser and waterjet cutting thin gauge metals up to 1.5mm thick.
Suitable materials and grades
Precision Micro photo chemically etches a wide range of austenitic (300) and martensitic (400) series stainless steel grades from stock. We also machine specialist stainless steel grades, including Sandvik Chromflex strip steels and nickel chrome, and work with customer-supplied steels.
We etch more than two million stainless steel components each month
Why use stainless steel etching?
Low set-up costs and quick lead times make etching economical in batch sizes of one-to-multiple millions. As a production steel etching specialist, Precision Micro supplies high-tech companies with more two million steel and stainless steel components each month, making it the largest sheet steel etching company in Europe.
Benefits of etching stainless stainless
Design optimisation without financial penalty
The tooling for etching stainless steel is digital, which can be adapted quickly allowing for “risk-free” design optimisation.
Accurate, complex, burr- and stress-free components
No mechanical force or heat is used during the stainless steel etching process, meaning material properties and characteristics remain unaltered and parts are free from stresses and burrs.
Complexity without cost
With etching, component features are machined simultaneously allowing for almost limitless part complexity. Stainless steel components can be etched with accuracy to ±0.025mm.
- Safety-critical springs and flexures used in satellites, ABS braking, biosensors and fuel injection can now flex millions of times because chemical etching does not alter fatigue strength, recoil and the flatness of spring steel.
- Medical instruments and biomedical implants photo etched from surgical steels with minimal metallic contamination require zero post-cleaning.
- Complex, corrosion-resistant micro-filters used in showerheads and insect meshes can be manufactured in economical production volumes as chemical etching only charges for the first hole.
- Chemical etching does not alter the mechanical surface finish of stainless steel and is specified for premium automotive interior trim applications including speaker grilles, tread plates, badges and inlays.
- Mild steel
- Electrical steel
- Maraging steel
- Sandvik strip steel
- Uddeholmstrip flapper valve steel
- High carbon (spring) steel
- Austenitic (300 series)
- Ferritic/martensitic (400 series)
- Precipitation hardened (17-4, 17-7)
- Duplex, super duplex
- Full material stock list