Stencils Unlimited offers a fully capable chemical etching service.
From the simplest to the most challenging projects we are your one stop shop for prototype and
Our chemical etching solutions are creative, competitively priced, and focused on the customers
We take pride in the relationship that we create with our customers, 24 hour quote process,
flexibility, and on time delivery are just a few of the attributes that we emphasize.
What is Chemical Etching?
Very simply, chemical etching is a process used to remove material (metal) by way of masking an
area with a protectant (photo resist) and then submerging the material into an etchant (acid) to
remove the material that has not been protected by the photo resist.
The resulting pattern can then be posted processed if necessary and then used in the intended
A wide range of materials are suitable for chemical etching. Most metal alloys can be machined
with this process.
Some examples are various Coppers, Brass, Nickel, Stainless Steel, Kovar, Spring steel, Invar,
Monel and more.
Chemical etching is in use in a wide variety of industries. Aerospace, semiconductor manufacture,
and medical are just a few industries that benefit from the chemical machining technology.
Thickness and Tolerance capabilities:
Photo chemical etching can be easily preformed on materials ranging from .002� to .030� thickness.
The minimum feature that can be etched in a part is equal to or grater than the thickness of
material being processed.
Typically dimensional tolerances are better than .005� depending on the product.
Why use Chemical etching?
Base material stability:
Chemical machining does not change the properties of the material being etched.
Where as processes like laser cutting can produce a heat affected zone which can cause expansion
chemical etching will not change material temper or hardness during processing.
Once the artwork is completed many parts can be manufactured form a single sheet of material at
the same time.
Many other processes require parts to be manufactured one at a time.
Design changes are simple and quick to implement.
Much like laser cutting this is especially suitable for prototype builds but is more efficient
than laser cutting for production.
The setup cost for chemical etching is very low when compared to purchasing a tool and die many
times before your design is ready for production.
Many variations in design can be produced quickly and economically.