Versatile, quick and cost-effective

What is Chemical Etching?

Thin Metal Parts Chemical etching, also known as chem etch or chemical milling, is one of the quickest, most cost-effective, and adaptable metal fabrication processes available for the creation of precision metal parts. It offers a high-quality, low-cost solution for creating custom thin metal pieces made to exact specifications. 

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Essentially, chemical etching is a meticulous metal manufacturing process that involves putting a thin sheet of metal through a series of processes to remove areas of the metal not coated. The custom precision metal part emerges from the remaining metal.  

With chemical etching, the metal is not subjected to heat or pressure as in other manufacturing processes, so it retains its structural integrity, leading to custom, precision pieces with the same hardness, ductility, grains structure and all other material properties as the original metal. This also means that it can be free of tabs, burrs, and other potentially unwanted attributes. The process is very precise and versatile, with thru-hole features as small as 0.005” on a wide variety of in-stock materials.  

Chem-etching can work in conjunction with other in-house manufacturing processes to create incredibly elaborate and complex designs suitable for various applications. 

Chemical Etching Fabrication

Chemically Etched parts

Chemically milled parts by TMP in Colorado Springs

Thin Metal Parts uses chemical etching to create custom parts such as:

  • Encoder codewheels/encoder wheels
  • Components
  • Gaskets
  • Mesh and sieves

Chemical etching is used to develop components for many industries, including:

  • Aerospace
  • Medical
  • Solar
  • Audio
  • Electronics

Thin Metal Parts is Your Chemical Etching Partner

As one of the best chemical etching companies in the US, Thin Metal Parts creates custom metal parts in a large variety of sizes and thicknesses to extremely precise tolerances. We strive to provide superior customer service to all clients regardless of production needs.

Our timely responsiveness reduces lead times and improves customer satisfaction, while our innovation-driven approach delivers a higher quality final product. When other chemical etching companies cannot handle the challenges of a problematic part production or maintain a production schedule, we are brought in to provide a truly custom solution. Thin Metal Parts serves as a primary supplier of aerospace components and medical components to some of the nation’s most trusted companies. Contact us today at (719) 268-8300 for more information.

The advantages of chemical etching with Thin Metal Parts include:

  • Complete in-house process control (design, photolithography, milling, and post-processing)
  • Hybrid manufacturing capabilities to produce highly intricate designs
  • Increased precision through vertical chemical milling
  • Large variety of in-stock metals
  • Fast turnaround time on all tooling
  • Cleanroom for photolithography
  • Collimated light exposure systems
  • Thicknesses ranging from 0.0005" to 0.060"
  • Secondary forming capabilities
  • Many post-processing finishes available (nickel, chrome, tin, zinc, titanium nitride, gold, black oxide, and black chrome)
Chemically Milled and etching by Thin Metal Parts

Not only will our engineers at Thin Metal Parts create the tooling via CAD, they will also maintain control of the etching process itself, so they can ensure the manufacturing process matches the custom design. This is completed within our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, which contains both horizontal and vertical etching equipment; only a few other companies worldwide have the same chemical etching capabilities. Clean-room photolithographic areas and collimated light exposure systems are employed in order to meet the most rigorous standards for highly regulated industries.

The highly versatile chem etch process is completed entirely in-house, from the custom design of the thin metal pieces all the way through shipment. Because Thin Metal Parts engineers have the capacity to combine chemical etching with other superior metal manufacturing technologies such as electroforming and laser-cutting, the team is able to combine manufacturing processes to produce pieces of extraordinary complexity.

Why Choose Thin Metal Parts Manufacturing in Colorado

Thin Metal Parts Chemically Milled technology
  • Made in the U.S.A. and done completely in-house: from the preliminary design of the project all the way through shipment, everything is completed in-house which means maintaining control of the project every step of the way.
  • Cost Effective: A large inventory of numerous thicknesses and specifications to meet most demands is kept in stock.
    • All the designing AND manufacturing are done on site and in-house
    • Ability to ship fully custom pieces designed to exact specifications in a matter of days.
  • Quick Turn Over: From conception to completion in less than a week in most cases.
  • Expertise: Precision engineers are highly trained and maintain certification of the highest caliber.
  • Versatility: Chemical Etching, Electroforming and Laser-Cutting can be used to create custom thin metal parts for any application ranging from highly technical medical or aerospace applications to decorative elements. In-House manufacturing allows for the capacity to do jobs of any scale, from prototypes through high-volume orders.
  • Reliability: If any questions, complications, changes arise, the in–house design and manufacturing team is ready to make the necessary changes in order to get customers the precision pieces they deserve.
  • Quality: 
    • ISO 9001:2015 certification documents processes and insures quality and precision.
    • ITAR registration ensures traceability and documentation of all raw materials used in processing.

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Using three different technologies, custom metal parts can be built for thousands of applications for a large variety of industries. By combining multiple technology options, a hybrid precision part, unavailable anywhere else in the global marketplace, can be custom manufactured.

Thin Metal Parts regularly works with the aerospace, computer, and electronic industries to build custom precision parts used in industrial and consumer goods applications... parts such as metal encoder wheels, metal mesh, and print heads. In addition, custom parts are developed daily in research and development as the design/process engineer group teams with customers to develop prototypes and production items in medical, manufacturing, and scientific instrument sectors.

All products are custom manufactured to meet customer needs and specifications, including DFARS and RoHS compliance. These quick-turn, cost-effective, low tooling cost processes offer excellent production alternatives to traditional fabrication methods for metal parts in high volumes and prototyping.

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    PCMI and Chemically Milled & Etching technology
    ISO 9001 and Chemically Milled & Etching technology
    ITAR and Chemically Milled & Etching technology

    4733 Centennial Blvd.
    Colorado Springs, CO 80919

    Phone: 719.268.8300

    Fax: 719.268.8399