Chemical Etching

A unique, high precision manufacturing technology that allows for intricate patterns and tight tolerance parts. Ideal for filters, screens, encoders, contacts, shielding, and thermal planes. ID marks may be added for no added cost. PCM can be used on most commercially available metal or alloy, of any hardness.

Chem Etch Capability

Chemical machining technology provides higher cutting accuracies and tighter tolerances than standard cutting processes:

  • Thickness from 0.0005
  • Parts quantity from 1 to infinity
  • Minimum piece size 0.040 in (1.02 mm) square
  • Maximum piece size 40X60 in. panels
  • Tolerance Standard: +/-.003 (added cost) +/-.0005 • Dimensions are limited by the artwork
  • Etched Dimensions are generally ±10% of the metal sheet thickness
  • Sharp Corners tend to round off
  • All edges are beveled as a result of the process • Line widths are thinner at the surface

PCM part dimensions always are dependent upon the thickness of the metal

  • Hole size cannot be smaller than the  material thickness
  • Line width is at least equal to the metal thickness up to 0.005 in. (0.127 mm)
  • Line width must be 125% if the metal thickness is over 0.005 in. (0.127 mm)
  • Inside corner radius generally 100% of thickness
  • Outside corner radius generally 75% of the material thickness

The PCM Process

  • Engineering the design
  • Cleaning the metal surface
  • Coating with the light-sensitive polymer
  • Exposing UV light through the film tool to set the design on the metal sheet
  • Developing, removal of the unwanted polymer
  • Etching, removal of unwanted metal
  • Stripping of photoresist
  • Quality Control
  • Forming, Heat Treating, and Plating
  • Final Product


  • Low tooling costs
  • Minimal modification cost
  • Small, intricate patterns with tight tolerances
  • Complex features do not add to the price per unit
  • Prototype to production with no change to process or method
  • The integrity of metal properties is preserved
  • No Burring
  • No cost to add ID marks
  • Half-etch process available

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