This technical information has been contributed by
Mech-Tronics Corporation

Click on Company Name for a Detailed Profile

Advantages of Photo Chemical Etching

Photo Chemical Etching

The photo chemical etching "chem-etch" process is used to produce very precise parts that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to manufacture using conventional fabrication methods. This technology was first commercially used during World War Two for producing gun sight reticles.

A brief outline of possibilities and limitations follows. This information is presented to provide the reader with rough guidelines rather than the maximum limits achievable by chem-etch.

Advantages of Chemical Etching

Tolerances and Other Considerations

Hole Sizes

MATERIAL THICKNESS MINIMUM HOLE DIAMETER TOLERANCE ±
.001"-.005" Material thickness .001
.006"-.010" Min. 110% of material thickness .0015
.010" and thicker Min. 125% of material thickness .002


MINIMUM MATERIAL BETWEEN PARTS
OR ETCHED AREAS.

MATERIAL THICKNESS SIZE OF MATERIAL WEB
Less Than .005" Minimum of thickness of material.
Over .005" 125% Thickness of material.

Materials Commonly Used

Aluminum, Beryllium Copper, Brass, Copper alloys and Copper, Nickel Silver, Phosphorous Bronze, Stainless Steel, Steel.

Material thicknesses usually within a range of .0005" to .090"

Photo-Chemical Etching Process

  1. Generate artwork on mylar from in-house CAD/CAM system or customer supplied data.
  2. Clean and pre-treat the material.
  3. Apply 1.5 mil dry PHOTO RESIST (photographically resistant) mylar layered film to the metal sheet to be etched.
  4. Expose the film via UV (Ultraviolet) light to transfer the piece part photographically to the previously treated sheet of metal.
  5. Develop the metal sheet thereby exposing the piece part image.
  6. Chemically remove the unprotected material areas by etching.
  7. Rinse and strip the photographically resistant film from the sheet.
  8. Proceed to next steps of manufacturing operations, forming, dip brazing, hardware insertion, silk screening, etc.
This technical information has been contributed by
Mech-Tronics Corporation

Click on Company Name for a Detailed Profile

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