Chemical Etching Companies

Chemical etching, sometimes also known as chemical milling, is the process of using various chemicals to dissolve unwanted materials, such as semiconductors, glass, and metals, leaving behind the material in the desired shape. The desired shape is achieved by protecting the material to be left behind with removable masking or masking material that is resistant to etching, forcing the chemical to attack only the exposed material. This form of fabrication has found extensive application in the printed circuit board (PCB) and semiconductor industries, where chemical etching is an important step in microfabrication. The etchants used in this operation are dependant on the material being etched. Hydrofluoric acid is a common etchant used for silica, while sodium hydroxide is used for etching aluminum components. Learn more about chemical etching.

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Showing 1-12 of 12 Companies
Logo for Etchit Etchit (Buffalo, MN)

Manufacturer, Contract Manufacturer

Etchit is your one-stop source for precision metal components. Whether your print calls out for a flat blank or something more complex, we can help. If your print calls out for a form or finish, we take care of that as well. We work with any volume...prototypes to production quantities. We also perform chemical etching, as required.

Primarily Serving: Minnetonka, MN - Eden Prairie, MN - Saint Cloud, MN - Minneapolis, MN

Product(s) by Etchit
Precision Photo-Fab, Inc. (Buffalo, NY)

Contract Manufacturer

Our primary manufacturing expertise is chemical etching of precision metal parts. Photochemical milling is an economical process, with low-cost tooling that can be used for prototype parts as well as production volume runs. Finished parts are burr-free & stress-free, and features such as logos and identifiers can be included without added cost.

Primarily Serving: East Amherst, NY - Niagara Falls, NY - Rochester, NY - Erie, PA

Composidie Inc. (Apollo, PA)

Manufacturer, Contract Manufacturer, Service Company

Composidie, Inc. is a full-service, vertically integrated company. Because we offer our customers complete manufacturing solutions in-house, we are a market leader in terms of price, quality, and delivery.

Primarily Serving: Pittsburgh, PA - Youngstown, OH - Canton, OH - Akron, OH

August Co (Atlanta, GA)


Metal, acid & chemical etching service

Primarily Serving: Smyrna, GA - Marietta, GA - Roswell, GA - Dacula, GA

ChemArt Company (Lincoln, RI)


Primarily Serving: Pawtucket, RI - Providence, RI - Cranston, RI - Warwick, RI

IKONICS Corporation (Duluth, MN)


Primarily Serving: Saint Cloud, MN - Saint Paul, MN - Minneapolis, MN - Eau Claire, WI

Italix Company Inc. (Santa Clara, CA)


Primarily Serving: Sunnyvale, CA - San Jose, CA - Cupertino, CA - Mountain View, CA

Mech-Tronics (Melrose Park,, IL)

Contract Manufacturer

Tech-Etch, Inc. (Plymouth, MA)


Primarily Serving: Brockton, MA - Taunton, MA - New Bedford, MA - Weymouth, MA

Advanced Metal Etching Inc (Ligonier, IN)


Primarily Serving: Elkhart, IN - Mishawaka, IN - Fort Wayne, IN - South Bend, IN

Fotofab (Chicago, IL)


Primarily Serving: Cicero, IL - Oak Park, IL - Oak Lawn, IL - Skokie, IL

Southern Micro Etch Inc (Pompano Beach, FL)

Service Company

Primarily Serving: Coral Springs, FL - Margate, FL - Coconut Creek, FL - Deerfield Beach, FL

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About Chemical Etching

Chemical etching, also known as industrial etching or chemical milling, is a process of using bases, acids, or various other chemicals to remove or dissolve the undesired parts of the component, leaving behind the part shape that is required. This process can be used for the etching of components made from various materials, be they metals, semiconductors, or glass. Chemical etching is considered to be a micromachining process, typically used for producing small-sized components. In addition, it is a cost effective, precise, and efficient fabrication technique for the production of fine, thin gauge components. There are basically two types of industrial etching commonly used - conventional wet etching and photochemical etching.

Chemical Milling Process:

Generally, the chemical etching process includes two techniques, swabbing or immersion. Swabbing is a less-uniform method of chemical etching, but is ideal for controlled etching. The immersion technique on the other hand provides uniform etching, as the part is completely submerged.

The etching process begins with protecting the desired area of the part. While in wet etching, this is achieved by using masking materials, in photochemical milling, it is achieved by using a UV-sensitive photoresist. The protected part is then subjected to the etchant, which removes those areas that are not covered in masking material. On completion of milling, the part is washed of all the etchant to prevent any further etching. On removing the masking material, the part is ready for any additional secondary or finishing operations.

Application of Chemical Etching:

Chemical etching, in particular photochemical etching, is an inexpensive and fast process, a fact that has made this fabricating technique ideal for prototyping and R&D. In fact, with ready drawings and prints, chemical machining can turn around parts in a matter of hours.

Another feature of the chemical milling process is the precise nature of this machining operation, which has made it ideal for producing complex components. This process can also be used for the production of fragile parts, which are so small that other conventional fabricating techniques such as stamping and laser cutting cannot be deployed without damaging the final component.

Industrial Applications:

All the above features of the chemical milling process have led to its adoption in a variety of industries, including aerospace. However, its precise and inexpensive nature has made it ubiquitous in the microprocessor, printed circuit board, and semiconductor industries. Using chemical etching, fragile and complex components such as EMI/RFI shielding, RF shielding, flat springs,lead frames, shims, spacers, miniature antennas, contacts, as well as optical apertures and encoders can be easily fabricated. The process is also used for the shallow removal of metal from aircraft exterior panels, missile outer panels, and various other aerospace components.

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