Brass Etching

A reliable source for Metal Etching information and leading Metal Etching Companies

Though many different types of metals may be etched, brass is a common option. An alloy of zinc and copper, brass has many of the same properties of both metals. Additional elements can be added for beneficial properties. Aluminum, for example, is often added to increase strength and corrosion resistance. Read More…

Brass Etching Etching is a mechanical or chemical process that utilizes many different techniques to cut, engrave or otherwise depress designs into a flat piece of metal.

Leading Manufacturers

Maple Grove, MN  |  763-425-4755

Great Lakes Engineering is a trend setting manufacturer of surface mount stencils, precision laser cut parts, and photo chemical etched parts. We work with a wide range of materials, including Stainless Steel, Copper, Titanium, Nitinol, Nickel, Kovar and many others.

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Great Lakes Engineering, Inc. $$$

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.

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VACCO Industries, Inc. $$$

Elkhart, IN  |  574-293-3342

The Micro Etch Technologies process offers many technical & financial advantages in manufacturing so many flat metal components. Try this precision etching, non-mechanical process for competitively priced, burr & stress free sheet metal products, up to 62 mil (.062”) thick.

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Micro Etch Technologies $$$

Roseville, MI  |  800-345-0568

Microphoto has been an industry leader in photochemical machining for more than a quarter century. We have used the chemical milling process on such items as connectors, electronic parts, fasteners, gaskets, shims, signs, springs, stampings, surgical blades and many other products.

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Microphoto, Inc. $$$

Elk River, MN  |  800-964-1395

Metal Craft Machine & Engineering provides CNC machining services for medical, computer and aerospace industries. We strive to exceed customer expectations of quality, service and innovation. Whether you require CNC milling, grinding, turning or many other processes, skilled professionals guide you from start to finish. We also do laser etching and passivation.

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Metal Craft $$$
placeholder image Great Lakes Engineering, Inc. VACCO Industries, Inc. Micro Etch Technologies Microphoto, Inc. Metal Craft

Brass is softer than most other metals and etching takes a relatively short amount of time and requires minimal mechanical force. This malleable and ductile metal is easily manufactured into strips, smooth rods or tubes, sheets and plates desirable for engraving.

Artists and hobbyists often use brass as its softness allows for hand needle scratching. While brass is frequently utilized in these domestic settings, industrial and commercial manufacturing also incorporate this medium in a variety of applications.

Aerospace, automotive, transportation, electronics, minting and medical industries all utilize brass etching in metal components. Like copper, the popularity of brass in many of these settings can be attributed to its being one of the best known and most cost effective conductors of heat and electricity.

For this reason and others etched brass products include tubes, piping, welding and thermal processing equipment, weather stripping, locks, gears, doorknobs, valves, decorative embellishments, coinage and a wide variety of musical instruments.

Such a wide variety of brass etched products reflects the many different etching techniques available. While hand etching with a needle is popular in artistic and custom applications, chemical etching or machining is the most common industrial etching method, particularly acid etching and photofabrication.

Acid etching is accomplished by covering the brass surface to be etched with an acid resistant waxy ground. The manufacturer scratches off the ground, using a point etching needle creating the design of the finished piece.

The brass sheet is then dipped into acid or has acid washed over the metal. Photofabrication follows a similar procedure but rather than a waxy ground, the brass is covered in a photoresist and exposed to UV light to create the template necessary before the corrosive chemical is applied. In either instance, the chemical wash bites into the metal where it is unprotected, leaving a depression in the plate.

The depth of the groove depends on the length of application. When the desired depth is achieved, the remaining chemicals are washed off and the rest of the wax or photoresist is removed to reveal the finished product.

Cupric chloride is the chemical most often used with brass due to its high etch rate, though iron chloride and nitric acid are also compatible with brass.

Brass Etching Informational Video