What is stainless steel etching?
Stainless steel etching uses a photoresist mask and etchant chemistry to produce complex, highly accurate components. It offers a cost-effective alternative to stamping, laser and water jet cutting thin gauge steels to 1.5mm thick.
As a production etching specialist, Precision Micro supplies high-tech companies with more than two million steel and stainless steel components each month, making it one of the world’s largest sheet steel etching companies.
Suitable metals and grades
Precision Micro offers chemical etching of ferritic/martensitic, austenitic, duplex and precipitation hardened stainless steel grades from stock. We also machine specialist grades, including Sandvik Chromflex strip steels, and work with customer-supplied steels.
|Low carbon (mild) steel||All grades|
|Maraging steel||All grades|
|Sandvik strip steel||Chromflex (7C27Mo2, 13C26, 12C27, 6C27), Hiflex|
|Uddeholmstrip flapper valve steel||20C, 716|
|High carbon (spring) steel||All grades|
|Stainless steel||Austenitic (300 series), ferritic/martensitic (400 series), precipitation hardened (17-4, 17-7), duplex, super duplex|
- Low set-up costs and fast lead times make etching economical in batch sizes of one to multiple millions.
- The tooling for etching is digital, low-cost and can be adapted quickly, allowing for risk-free design optimisation.
- No mechanical force or heat is used when etching stainless steel, meaning material properties and characteristics remain unaltered and parts are free from stresses and burrs.
- Component features are etched simultaneously, meaning almost limitless part complexity is achievable with accuracy to ±0.025mm.
Typical components and applications
- 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 flatness of spring steel.
- 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 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