Chemical Etching

Chemical Etching

Photofabrication have over 47 years of experience and a large pool of technical knowledge, making us specialists in Chemical Milling (photo and chemical etching).

With a wide range of manufacturing disciplines we can evaluate your product requirement and advise which discipline would both provide the best quality product (meeting your drawings requirements) and the most cost effective price.


  • Low Cost Tooling
  • Low Cost Design Changes
  • Half-etched forming
  • Prototype to Full Production
  • Rapid Delivery – from 24 hours
  • Metal Properties Unaltered
  • Burr Free
  • Identification Marks Easily Added at No Extra Cost
  • Tabbed-in components for Greater Accuracy

Useful Resources

Our design guidelines for photo etching

Our tabbing guidelines for photo etching

Our photo etching process tour

For thicker requirements Photofabrication can offer laser cutting. All of these metals etch at a different rate depending on their chemical composition.

Our knowledge and experience allows us to control the speed of etch and produce chemically etched metal parts with both high accuracy and high quality. For a full list of metals that can be chemically etched please see our Metals page.

There are many benefits to using the chemical etching process as shown above from burr free components and low cost tooling to high accuracy and fast turnarounds. For more detail please see the Chemical Etching Benefits page.

What is Chemical Etching?

The process of chemical etching is also known as chemical milling or photo etching. Chemical etching uses acids along with other chemicals to dissolve unwanted material. Predominantly this material is metal, the range of metals possible is vast from yellow metals such as brass, copper, beryllium copper, etc to ferrous metals including stainless steel, carbon steel and mild steel, up to a thickness of 1.5mm.

Chemical etch


Chemical etching can also be used selectively; through a process of masking unwanted areas one can selectively etch specific areas of the part. This type of etching is regularly used in the aerospace industry to remove shallow layers of material from aircraft components and missile skin panels. The amount that can be removed can vary; one could remove anything from 10 microns (0.0004”) to over 0.5mm (0.020”).

Chemical etching is a term often used interchangeably with photo etching.

If you think this process can benefit you, please contact us using the form below or telephone 01480 226699.


Working with Photofabrication

We are world leaders in the development of photochemical technology to produce intricately shaped components. with the experience that come from producing over 70,000 different types of component. Our knowledge and experience allows us to control the speed of etch and produce chemically etched metal parts with both high accuracy and high quality. To ensure excellent customer service, we include:

  • Dedicated account managers
  • Quotes turned around within 24 hours
  • Technical advice using our wide manufacturing experience

Speak to us about your requirements – please contact us or telephone 01480 226699.

Talk to an experienced member of the team today.
Please call us on 01480 226699 or email us using

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