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Stainless Steel Etching

A reliable source for Stainless Steel Etching information and leading Stainless Steel Etching Companies

Stainless steel etching refers to a specialized metal etching process that uses corrosive chemicals to etch complex shapes from sheets of stainless steel. The process of stainless steel etching is a highly accurate process that results in more complex parts with no mechanical stress placed on the material. Read More…

Stainless Steel Etching Stainless steel etching as a manufacturing process is becoming more popular because of the corrosion resistance properties of stainless steel and its wide availability.
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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. 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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VACCO Industries, Inc. $$$

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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PMA Photometals $$$

Irvine, CA  |  866-486-5140

Since our foundation, Caliber Engraving has been providing responsive, competent and high quality metal etching services on fabricated components. Our primary focus has been on high temperature, titanium and ferrous alloys while serving the aerospace engine fabricating market. Typical applications of chemical milling include Inconel jet engine mixer components and more. Visit our website for more information.

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Caliber Engraving $$$

Houston, TX  |  713-896-1765

Since our foundation, Caliber Engraving has been providing responsive, competent and high quality metal etching services on fabricated components. Our primary focus has been on high temperature, titanium and ferrous alloys while serving the aerospace engine fabricating market. Typical applications of chemical milling include Inconel jet engine mixer components and more. Visit our website for more information.

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Engrave It Houston $$$
placeholder image Great Lakes Engineering, Inc. VACCO Industries, Inc. PMA Photometals Caliber Engraving Engrave It Houston

Stainless steel is an excellent material for laser etching since images placed on it can meet the photo quality standards. In addition, stainless steel can easily accept the photo-resistant laminate mask and the CAD image as experienced in photochemical etching.

The ferric chloride removes the unnecessary metal from components as it does other metals. The process of metal etching is commonly used in producing stainless steel parts because burrs are not produced, and the metal is not stressed.

etched stainless steel

Grinding and milling machines are also used to achieve certain etching finishes on stainless steel. These are used especially on stainless steel sheeting used for larger decorative purposes.

How Stainless Steel Etching Functions

This process starts with metal being laminated with a light-sensitive photo-resist exposed to UV light to transfer the CAD image of the component. The areas of unexposed photo-resist are then removed and sprayed with etchant chemistry. Finally, the remaining photoresist is stripped to reveal the final etched component.

Types of Stainless Steel Etching

The type of stainless steel etching is determined by the technique used to remove metal from the surface of the substrate. Three etchants may be used for the stainless steel etching process. These are electrolysis processes for electro etching, acidic chemical etchants for chemical etching, and high energy density laser for laser etching.

Laser Etching

Stainless steel etching uses high energy density laser light in its function. This light is focused on the area being engraved while ensuring that the surrounding area is not affected. The high-density laser hits the metal surface; some light reflects off, but the metal absorbs the rest in the form of heat. By doing so, the laser light heats the metal and melts away the hit part.

laser etching

Electrolytic Etching

This process is also known as electrochemical etching. It uses electricity and leaves permanent engravings on the metal. The main contributors in the process include the anode, cathode, and chemical electrolyte. The part to be etched is connected to the positive pole of a DC source. The other part is connected to the negative terminal of the DC source. When the switch is turned on, the current can pass from the anode to the cathode via the electrolyte where the metal is dipped. The cations obtained from the anode will discharge and deposit on the cathode. Depleting the anode side leads to the creation of a surface etched on the metal.

electrolytic etching

Chemical Etching

Chemical etching uses an acidic chemical that can etch off the surface it acts on. Acid metal etching is performed in an acid bath, dipping, or flow coating. The metal type to be etched affects the acid etching process because some metals etch quicker than others. Hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, and sulphuric acid are mostly used for chemical etching.

basic chemical etching

Photochemical Etching

The process of photochemical etching uses chemicals and light to remove material. The photochemical etching process begins with the creation of a design using CAD. Once this is finished, the thickness of the metal is determined as well as the number of pieces that will fit on a sheet.

basic photochemical etching process

Applications and Uses of Stainless Steel Etching

Stainless steel is chosen in most industries because of its strength, smooth tarnish-free surface, formability, and resistance to corrosion. For example, stainless steel etching is found in the aerospace and automotive industries because of the need for strength and corrosion resistance in producing engine parts such as fuel cell plates.

Stainless steel is required in these engines because it avoids material breakdown in engines that contact gasses and liquids. Stainless steel is also used in parts such as gaskets and shims that must be able to withstand force, heat, and friction for safety standards.

The smooth, clean surface is a prominent feature for automotive speaker grills, medical instruments, and interior inlays that must be sanitized without the threat of material breakdown. In addition, stainless steel step lids and RFI/EMI shielding can be plated to enhance many electronic products. Decorative works on jewelry, firearms, plaques, medals, trophies, and musical instruments also use stainless steel etching.

Stainless Steel Etching Informational Video

 

Metal Etching Power Pages

Acid Etching

Acid Etching

Acid etching, also known as chemical etching or photo etching, is the process of cutting a hard surface like metal by means of a specially formulated acid for the process of etching in order to allow for the creation of a design onto the metal...

Metal Etching

Metal Etching

Metal etching is a metal removal process that uses various methods to configure complex, intricate, and highly accurate components and shapes. Its flexibility allows for instantaneous changes during processing...

Photochemical Etching

Photochemical Etching

Photochemical etching, also known as photochemical machining or metal etching, is a non-traditional, subtractive machining process in which photographic and chemical techniques are used to shape the metal workpiece...

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