Etched Metal Parts

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Here at PMA, we make thousands of etched metal parts a month. If you need etching, lettering on metal, or designs stamped in, consider calling us for a quote. We have an entire design team at your disposal and over 20 years of experience to make your idea a reality. Below is technical information describing the process.
Chemical etching is the engineer’s choice for thin metal parts to avoid damaging the integrity of the metal. In etching, metal is removed with chemicals which generally keep the material flat. Thin metal parts are best used for fine line details such as spacers, screens, and shapes integral to an assembled design. Etching is a controlled process for metal removal from select areas to create cavities, etch through for shapes or a combination of both. The greater the amount of metal removed, especially a large area, the greater the tendency for the metal to lose its flat condition.

Most thin metals start as a coil and will return to a curled state if a large amount of the material is removed from the face. This works well for filters or screens since they are often wrapped or fastened into place. Stainless steel is often a desired material for its strength and resiliency. Metal can be etched from one or both sides. If the metal is to be etched through, the chemical removal of the material is done on both sides of the material for close tolerances. If metal is etched from one side, there is a microscopic taper to the material once etched out. For parts that need to be shaped after they are etched out, we often create a bend line for the folds on one side of the material. Hobbyists often ask for this type of etching for models of buildings or things like miniature trains. This foregoes forming fixtures. Thicker materials can also be formed after the part is etched out of a sheet. Lines may also be etched into one side of the material for either lettering or graphics details. If paint-filled, cavitations need to be .004 deep for in-filling colors. In using thin metals, the resulting pieces offer clean tight tolerances. Metals are available from .0005″ through .050″ thick.