Chemcut Corporation

Photo Chemical Milling Equipment — Chemical Etching Machines

Chemical Milling

51 years ago, Chemcut developed conveyorized double-sided spray etching, a technique that made the Photo Chemical Milling process practical for volume, as well as prototype production, and has made Photo Chemical Milling the effective metalworking tool it is today.

Our photo chemical milling machines are used to make a variety of products such as:

  • Washers, gaskets & shims
  • Shadow masks
  • Heat sinks, ladders & plates
  • Circuit lead frames
  • Jewelry & decorative ornaments

We offer a wide line of machines and equipment for Photo Chemical Milling applications:

Photo Chemical Milling is a process for the removal of metal by chemical action and is ideally suited for production of flat, relatively thin parts of unlimited configurations, and for other jobs requiring area, point or line removal of metal.

Photo Chemical Milling
Its Advantages and Capabilities

  • Low costs — With the elimination of the need for conventional tools and dies, regardless of the size or intricacy of the part being made, the setup costs for chemical machining are extremely low.
  • Adaptable to change — easy for design change and prototype designs
  • Consistent quality — Photo Chemical Milling has no effect on temper or hardness, does not introduce edge stresses, and no dimensional changes
  • Produces burr-free parts
  • Parts can be produced by Photo Chemical Milling from virtually any commercially available metal or alloy of any hardness. Metals include aluminum, brass, copper, inconel, manganese, nickel, silver, steel, zinc and titanium.
  • Quick turn a round — Short lead times on new or modified parts, simply altering the part drawing can make design modifications.
  • Speed — Parts can be produced in a matter of hours after completion of a part drawing.
  • Accuracy — Dimension tolerances of+-10 percent of metal thickness

The Photo Chemical Milling Process

  1. Artwork and Negative Preparation
    Preparation of an accurate image is accomplished through digital or conventional hard copy drawings, which can be used to program a laser plotter to print the image directly to the film. The program can automatically reduce the image to the proper size, do the step and repeat for multiple parts on the same panel.
  2. Metal Preparation
    Thoroughly clean metal of grease and oxides.
  3. Photoresist Application / Exposure / Develop
    Apply Photoresist coating to make the metal sensitive to light.
    Expose coated metal to UV light source which applies the image from the art work to the metal part.
    Treat exposed metal part with a developing solution which removes the soft portion of the Photoresist.
  4. Etching / Resist Removal
    Process the metal through chemical etcher which dissolves all metal not protected by the hardened photoresist coating.
    Remove / Strip remaining hardened photoresist.

A complete line of Chemcut Spray Etchers, Developers, Strippers, Waste Treatment Systems and auxiliary equipment are available and over 15,000 units are now in use throughout the world.

To determine the feasibility of Photochemical milling for your production, we offer our laboratory service for sample processing. Our facility is outfitted with the latest Chemcut equipment and staffed with experienced chemists and technicians who will work with you to apply Photo Chemical Milling to meet your production needs. To set up a visit to Chemcut's lab contact Chemcut at 1(800)-CHEMCUT or send us an email.