Precision Micro provides a market-leading stainless steel etching service. We deliver millions of etched stainless steel components to leading global brands each month, making us one of the world’s largest chemical etching companies.
Stainless steel etching process: How we etch stainless steel
The stainless steel etching process takes stainless steel laminated with a photoresist mask printed with a CAD image of the component, which is then selectively etched with ferric chloride, a safe to use, recyclable etchant chemistry.
Suitable steel and stainless steel grades
|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|
We chemically etch 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 metals.
The benefits of the stainless steel etching process
- 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
- No heat or force is used when etching, meaning steel properties and characteristics remain unaltered and parts are free from stresses and burrs.
- As component features are etched at the same time there is almost limitless part complexity
Stainless steel etching 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.
Benefits at a glance
- Prototype to volume — fast
- Unlimited complexity – you only pay for the first hole
- No hard tooling
- Low-cost design iterations — fast
- Burr-and stress-free – metal properties unaffected
- Lead-times in days, not months
- All steel grades
- Accuracy to ±0.025mm
- 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