This technical information has been contributed by
Italix Company Inc.

Click on Company Name for a Detailed Profile

Chemical Machinability of Metals

Chemical Machining

Good Alloy 42, Brass, Copper (rolled Electrolytic Beryllium & O.F.H.C.), 90-10 Copper Nickel, Cold Rolled Steel, HyMu (80 &800), Hypernik, Kovar, Ni-Silver, Nispan-C, Permanickel, Phosphor Bronze, Spring Steel and Vanadium, Stainless Steel (Ph 15-7 Ph 17-7, 301, 302, 304, 305, 316, 321, 347, 410, 420, 430, & 215)
Good to Fair Monel, Ni-Chromium, Nickel, Aluminum, and Zinc.
Fair to Poor Dynavar, Elgiloy, Manganese, Molybdenum (Cold Rolled & Arc Cast), Orthosil, Rhenium, Udiment, and Zirconium.
Poor Al Fenol, Chrome, Columbium, Gold, Hastelloy, Inconel, Lead, Nichrome, Paliney, Rene 41, Tantalum, Titanium, and Tungsten.

Chemical Milling or Machining is the clean removal of metal from predescribed areas without altering the integrity or properties of the metal by means of a photo chemical process. This process is primarily used in creating small thin metal parts of complex design with no burns or stresses to the parts.

The process starts by cleaning the dirt and oils from the metal. A photoresist is applied and baked to assure an even application. The artwork is then placed over the prepared sheet of metal and exposed to ultra-violet light, resulting in the desired resolution and etch specs. The artwork is removed and the resist is ready to be developed or removed. At this point the metal is ready to be etched by submerging the sheet in a chemical solution that dissolves all the material that is not integral to the part. After the etching is completed the resist is removed and the metal parts are cleaned, inspected and packaged.


Exact tolerances in chemical milling are hard to ascertain due to the fact that the type of metal used, size or panel, production equipment, and yield requirements will effect the tolerance passable. An acceptable tolerance level is thought to be ± 14% the metal thickness.

Thickness To .005 .010 .015 .020 .040
Tolerance ± .001 .002 .003 .0035 .005


Chemical Milling

Chemically machined parts have the following characteristics:

Costs and Lead Times

Since no expensive tooling dies are required, reproduction set-up costs are minimal. Due to the simple process for photo tool generation, Italix Company Inc. can provide quick turnaround, with no lengthy delays.

Other processes require elaborate tooling, much of which must be done by hand or mechanical processes. Tooling in the photo chemical machining operation is done primarily through a series of photographic steps, thereby increasing accuracy and reducing tooling costs.

Part Changes

Any change to a part can be accomplished quickly, easily and inexpensively.

Metals & Tolerances

A wide variety or metal types and thickness are available.

Examples of some products that are made by Chemical Machining:

  • Lead Frames
  • Magnetic Laminate
  • Motors
  • Masks & Springs
  • Heat Sinks
  • Fluidic sup-plates
  • Valve & valve springs
  • Differential etch Patterns
  • Mylar Laminates
  • Recording Heads
  • Print Bands
  • Enclosures
  • Vacuum tube parts
  • Forming Dies
  • Encoder Discs
  • Radial & Axial Plates
  • Cylindrical etched parts
  • Jewelry
  • Screens
  • Step Lids
  • Fluidics
  • Bus Bars
  • Circuits
  • Ornaments
  • Coined Pieces
  • Gimbal Springs
  • Carriers
  • Flex circuits
  • Bi Level Step-Etch Carriers
  • Tags
This technical information has been contributed by
Italix Company Inc.

Click on Company Name for a Detailed Profile

Home |  About Us |  Back To Technical Library |  Contact Us
Copyright © 1996-2010 All Rights Reserved.
General or Technical Questions? E-mail