Custom perforated metal sheets & mesh

Custom metal etching application:

Etching name plate, Customized Metal Nameplate 

Customized Metal Bookmarks 

Customized Metal Business card 

Stage spotlight Projector etching plate 

Laser Disco Light Etching plate

Etching metal crafts is a process that involves using a chemical or mechanical process to remove certain areas of a metal surface in order to create a design or pattern. The process can be used on a variety of metals, including copper, brass, and stainless steel.
The first step in etching metal is to prepare the surface of the metal by cleaning it thoroughly and applying a protective coating, such as a resist or a mask. The resist or mask is applied to the areas of the metal that are not intended to be etched.
Next, the metal is exposed to a chemical etchant, which dissolves the unprotected areas of the metal surface. The etchant may be an acid, such as nitric acid or hydrochloric acid, or a basic solution, such as sodium hydroxide.
Alternatively, the metal may be etched using a mechanical process, such as sandblasting or engraving. In this case, a tool is used to remove the metal from the surface, rather than a chemical etchant.
After the etching process is complete, the resist or mask is removed from the metal, revealing the design or pattern that has been created. The metal may then be polished or treated with a protective coating to enhance its appearance and durability.
Etching metal crafts can be a time-consuming and delicate process, requiring a high degree of skill and precision. However, it offers a wide range of creative possibilities and can be used to produce intricate and detailed designs on a variety of metal surfaces.

Chemical etching process: 10 frequently asked questions

Want to ask a question about chemical etching or share a component drawing for technical review?


Q1. What is the chemical etching process?
The chemical etching process is a sheet metal machining process that is used to manufacture complex components with high levels of accuracy.Comprising nine steps, it works by printing the component design onto a photoresist mask which is laminated onto the metal.
The areas of photoresist which have not been printed are developed, exposing the metal, which is subsequently etched away.
Q2. What metals can be chemically etched?
Almost any metal and metal alloy can undergo chemical etching. This includes steel and stainless steels, nickel, copper, aluminium.
What makes photochemical etching so effective is that it works well on hard-to-machine metals, including highly corrosive-resistant metals such as titanium and its alloys.
Q3. What chemical is used in etching?
Most metals are etched using ferric chloride, a safe to use, recyclable etchant. Ferric chloride can be regenerated and reused.
Other proprietary etchants such as nitric acid, are used for specialist metals and alloys.
Q4. What sheet sizes and thicknesses can be etched?
Sheet metals between 0.010mm and 1.5 mm thick can be etched. The thicker the sheet the longer it takes to etch, meaning metals above 1.5mm are uneconomical to process.
Q5. How accurate is chemical etching?
Excellent accuracy can be achieved with photochemical etching. Standard minimum etching tolerances are ±10% of the metal thickness being etched, to a minimum of ±0.025 mm.
With development, greater accuracy can be achieved so it is encouraged that customers partner with TONGJIN Etching early in the design phase so an appropriate etching method can be developed.
Q6. What are the benefits of chemical etching?
Chemical etching is highly advantageous and offers many benefits. This process does not use mechanical force, unlike stamping which subjects sheet metals to extreme pressures. Nor does it put thermal stress on the cutting edge, unlike laser cutting.
Alongside this, chemically etched parts remain flat, burr- and stress-free, leaving the material properties unaffected.
Chemical etching can also produce very accurate engraved features at the same time the material is being profiled, such as fluidic channels, logos or part numbers. These features come at no additional cost.
Q7: What level of detail can chemical etching achieve?
The minimum standard etched opening achievable is 0.1 mm, but with development, etching can achieve even finer features.
Q8. How much does chemical etching cost?
Chemical etching uses digital tooling which is inexpensive, very easy to adapt and does not wear out, unlike presswork tooling.
Material thickness and component size are key cost drivers as you pay by the sheet, not by the part – the more parts per sheet, the lower the unit price. Thicker sheets take longer to etch and this is reflected in the cost of the component.
Q9. What are the maximum quantities chemical etching can produce?
There is no maximum quantity that chemical etching can produce.  Low-cost digital tooling ensures prototype quantities can be supplied quickly and economically.
As one of the largest sheet metal etching companies in the world, TONGJIN Etching supplies its customers with component quantities measured in the millions.
Q10. How long does chemical etching take?     
Chemical etching lead times are measured in days, not weeks or months, unlike traditional metal machining technologies.
Subject to quantities required and capacity, standard components which require no additional post-processing can be supplied in less than two working weeks. Urgent demands can be supplied even quicker.

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