CHEMICAL Milling & ETCHING

Versatile, quick and cost-effective

What is Chemical Etching?

Chemical etching is one of the quickest, most cost-effective and adaptable manufacturing processes available for the creation of precision metal parts. It offers a high-quality, low-cost solution for creating custom, thin metal pieces made to exact specifications. 

Essentially, chemical etching is a meticulous metal manufacturing process that involves putting a thin sheet of metal through a series of chemical baths in order to remove the pieces of the metal not coated with a resistant. The custom precision metal part emerges from the remaining metal.

The process is so precise and versatile it can be used to create extremely complex and detailed metal designs that are as thin as microns. (From .0005-.060 inches, much thinner than a piece of hair.)

Chem-etching can work in conjunction with other in-house manufacturing processes to create incredibly elaborate and complex designs suitable for various applications.

Every day Thin Metal Parts creates custom metal parts in a large variety of sizes and thicknesses to extremely precise tolerances. Call today at (719) 268-8300 for more information.

Advantages of Chemical Etching

Chemically Milled parts

Chemically milled parts by TMP in Colorado Springs
  • Complete process controlled in-house from design and photolithography through milling and post-processing
  • Vertical chemical milling at Thin Metal Parts increases precision
  • Tooling complete in hours
  • Tab-free designs available
  • Clean-room photolithographic area
  • Collimated light exposure systems
  • May be combined with electroforming and laser-cutting to produce highly complex hybrid designs
  • Secondary forming available
  • Thicknesses ranging from 0.0005" to 0.060"
  • Large variety of in-stock metals can be chemically milled
  • Post-processing finishes available include: nickel, chrome, tin, zinc, titanium nitride, gold, black oxide and black chrome.

Is Chemical Etching Right for Your Project?

Using the latest in superior chemical etching technology, Thin Metal Parts' subtractive vertical chemical milling system enables engineers to create custom metal pieces that leave the source metal virtually unchanged.

Chemical etching is great for: 

  • Quick Turnaround
  • Cost Effective
  • Tooling Complete within Hours
  • Tab-Free Designs Available
  • Thicknesses ranging from 0.0005" to 0.060"
  • A wide variety of metals available
  • Completely Custom

The metal is not subjected to heat or pressure as in other manufacturing processes, so it retains its structural integrity, leading to custom, precision pieces with the same hardness, ductility, grains structure and all other material properties as the original metal. This also means that it is free of tabs, burrs, and other potentially unwanted attributes.  

Chemically Milled and etching by Thin Metal Parts

Chemical etching is so precise it allows for the creation of parts as thin as 0.0005” to 0.060” with superlative accuracy. Additionally, manufacturing micro-precision parts using chemical etching utilizes tooling created relatively inexpensively with CAD in just hours, as opposed to days/weeks/months with more traditional expensive manufacturing methods.

Not only will the engineers at Thin Metal Parts create the tooling via CAD, they will maintain control of the chem-etching process itself, so they can ensure the manufacturing process matches the custom design. All of this is completed within a state of the art manufacturing facility. Clean-room photolithographic areas and collimated light exposure systems are employed in order to meet the most rigorous standards.

The highly-versatile chemical etching process is completed entirely in-house, from the custom design of the thin metal pieces all the way through shipment. Because Thin Metal Parts engineers have the capacity to combine chemical etching with other superior metal manufacturing technologies such as electroforming and laser-cutting, the team is able to combine manufacturing processes to produce pieces of extraordinary complexity.

Why Choose Thin Metal Parts

Thin Metal Parts Chemically Milled technology
  • Made in the U.S.A. and done completely in-house: from the preliminary design of the project all the way through shipment, everything is completed in-house which means maintaining control of the project every step of the way.
  • Cost Effective: A large inventory of numerous thicknesses and specifications to meet most demands is kept in stock.
    • All the designing AND manufacturing are done on site and in-house
    • Ability to ship fully custom pieces designed to exact specifications in a matter of days.
  • Quick Turn Over: From conception to completion in less than a week in most cases.
  • Expertise: Precision engineers are highly trained and maintain certification of the highest caliber.
  • Versatility: Chemical Etching, Electroforming and Laser-Cutting can be used to create custom thin metal parts for any application ranging from highly technical medical or aerospace applications to decorative elements. In-House manufacturing allows for the capacity to do jobs of any scale, from prototypes through high-volume orders.
  • Reliability: If any questions, complications, changes arise, the in–house design and manufacturing team is ready to make the necessary changes in order to get customers the precision pieces they deserve.
  • Quality: 
    • ISO 9001:2015 certification documents processes and insures quality and precision.
    • ITAR registration ensures traceability and documentation of all raw materials used in processing.

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Using three different technologies, custom metal parts can be built for thousands of applications for a large variety of industries. By combining multiple technology options, a hybrid precision part, unavailable anywhere else in the global marketplace, can be custom manufactured.

Thin Metal Parts regularly works with the aerospace, computer, and electronic industries to build custom precision parts used in industrial and consumer goods applications... parts such as metal encoder wheels, metal mesh, and print heads. In addition, custom parts are developed daily in research and development as the design/process engineer group teams with customers to develop prototypes and production items in medical, manufacturing, and scientific instrument sectors.

All products are custom manufactured to meet customer needs and specifications, including DFARS and RoHS compliance. These quick-turn, cost-effective, low tooling cost processes offer excellent production alternatives to traditional fabrication methods for metal parts in high volumes and prototyping.

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PCMI and Chemically Milled & Etching technology
ISO 9001 and Chemically Milled & Etching technology
ITAR and Chemically Milled & Etching technology

4733 Centennial Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80919

Phone: 719.268.8300

Fax: 719.268.8399

E-mail: info@thinmetalparts.com