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Photo Chemical Machining Materials

Complete Photo Etching Services

When performed properly, photo chemical machining is a fast and efficient way to produce thin, “two dimensional” parts from a broad range of metal materials. However, because of their varying compositions, different metals require different etching solution chemistries and different processing times. At Vaga Industries, our extensive knowledge and experience enable us to provide high precision metal etching for numerous materials, including:

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The Right Photo Etching Metal for Your Application

The team at Vaga Industries will work with you, as needed, to determine the ideal material of construction for your parts and components. All parts we produce are custom manufactured via photo chemical machining to match our customers’ exact requirements. No matter how simple or complex your designs, no matter if you need a dozen pieces or 100,000, chemical etching can produce perfectly repeatable parts for your application.

The Right Metal Etching Chemistry

When photo chemical machining metal, part shapes are blocked out on the material using special photoresist tooling. The metal is then submerged in an acidic bath (or “etchant”) that dissolves the material that is not protected by the tooling. For each material, there is a particular chemical or chemical combination that provides the best results when used as an etchant in chemical etching. 

Our staff chemists use a variety of standard and specialized chemical combinations to provide highly effective and reliable photo etching for the materials with which we work. While the following chart is by no means definitive, and there may be several photo etching chemistries that work for a given material, it provides a basic overview of the chemical processes involved in etching metal.

Photo Chemical Machining Metal

Etchant Chemistry

Stainless steel and other ferrous alloys

Ferric chloride [FeCl3]

Copper, beryllium copper, brass, or other non-ferrous alloy

Cupric chloride [CuCl2]


Ferric nitrate [Fe(NO3)3]


Sodium hydroxide [NaOH]

Request a quote today on precision photo chemical machining, or contact Vaga Industries for more information.