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Photo Etching Manufacturers and Companies

IQS Directory provides an extensive list of photo etching companies and suppliers. Utilize our website to review and source photo etching companies with our easy-to-use features which allow you to locate photo etching companies that will provide photo etching services for your exact specifications. Our request for quote forms make it easy to connect with leading photo etching companies. View company profiles, website links, locations, phone number, product videos, customer reviews, product specific news articles and other production information. We are a leading manufacturer directory who will connect you with the right companies whether you are looking for photo chemical etchings, stainless steel photo etchings, or laser photo etching.

  • Maple Grove, MN 763-425-4755

    We are an ISO 9001:2000 certified company and that means that you are getting quality with every business transaction. It is our main goal to deliver photo etching that provides lasting value that meet or exceed our customers' expectations. We have been providing exceptional customer service since opening our doors in 1986 and now we want to bring that service to you. Visit our website today to learn more!

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  • El Monte, CA 626-443-7121

    VACCO is the industry leader of Photo Chemical Etching of metal & polyimide components and devices. We specialize in Stainless steel, Titanium, and Copper, but work with a variety of different materials. We have over 60 years of experience in Chem Etching, and we offer Micro Laser Cutting & Welding, and Diffusion & Adhesive Bonding services along with an extensive range of value-added services. Whether your application is large or small, VACCO can assist you from prototype to production.

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  • Phoenix, AZ 602-278-7800

    Quality. Integrity. Made in USA. Precision etched parts, nameplates, asset tags, graphic overlays, signage and more - our team has been producing high quality products for over 35 years. We serve all industries - automotive, aerospace, military, medical, electronics and equipment manufacturers.

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  • Milford, MA 508-478-2025

    PEI is a leading producer of photochemical machining and photochemical etching precision and decorative metal parts. We use chemical machining and etching as a process to selectively remove material by chemical action, creating extraordinary cost-effectiveness. In business since 1967.

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  • Morgan Hill, CA 888-448-2549

    Founded in 1977, we offer photochemical machining to make products from copper-based alloys plus ferrous and high-nickel alloys. We have used chemical milling to produce items for the architectural, decorative, mechanical and motion picture industries. Secondary operations also available.

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Photo Etching Industry Information

Photo Etching

Photo etching, or photo engraving, is a chemical milling process used to fabricate thin gauge precision metal parts. It uses a photoresist material instead of tape or elastomer for masking purposes. The process of photo etching can be used on virtually any commercial metal, including aluminum, copper, molybdenum, steel, and brass, but it is limited to a thickness range from .001” to 0.080” for maximum effectiveness.

Quick links to Photo Etching Information

Process of Photo Etching

The photo etching process begins with the treatment of whatever part or sheet that is intended for etching. The part or sheet requiring acid etching is cleaned thoroughly and coated, or laminated, with a UV-sensitive photoresist. This is then developed through strategic exposure to light. The photoresist develops and hardens in the desired pattern or shape. The chemical reagent is then applied to the entire part. It can be applied using spray nozzles to further the efficiency of the process. The chemical washes away the unexposed masking layer, allowing contact with the parts of the metal part that are to be etched. The developed and hardened areas of the photoresist, however, protect certain areas of the metal part from corroding. The most common chemical used in the process of photo chemical milling is ferric chloride dissolved in hydrochloric acid. The etchant is left on the metal part for as long as is required to achieve the desired depth of cut, and then it is stripped off together with the remaining developed photoresist to reveal the etched part. The part can be re-cleaned and polished, and any irregularities can be burnished until the part is completely finished.

Benefits of Photo Etching

Parts manufactured with photo etching can be sized from .020” in diameter to 24” x 60”. The benefits of photo etching compared to standard chemical milling or manual engraving are substantial. The photoresist works a dual purpose of both protecting the metal where it is not to be etched, but also revealing the area to be exposed. This feature saves time in the manufacturing process. Chemical milling requires parts of the masking to be cut and removed, which can be a tricky process and can result in material wastage if not properly implemented. With photo engraving, or etching, the surface merely needs to be exposed to a pattern of targeted light and then exposed to the chemical reagent and rinsed. Tooling costs and maintenance remain relatively low, and processing times for completed parts are quick. Photo etching allows for photos or much more complex images to be engraved rather inexpensively, and it is often the only method that allows for very intricate designs to be etched in metal sheets, and parts or components machined using this method typically have very high tolerances and precise shapes. Photo etching can be a cost-effective and time saving alternative for many applications instead of laser or water-jet cutting, stamping, or wire electrical discharge machining.



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Photo Etching Informational Video