Metal Finishing

Metal Finishing, Chemical Clean, and Non-Metal Treatments

What is Metal Finishing?Metal finishing, Metal Cleaning. Chemical cleaning. brushing and deburring

Metal Finishing is the process of changing the surface of a metal to improve the appearance, functionality, or cleanliness of the metal.

Metal finishing to improve the functionality would include increasing electrical conductivity, corrosion resistance, surface roughness so photoresist adheres to the surface better, and much more.

An improvement in metal appearance would include polishing a metal surface, removing smut, or micro etching the surface for a matte finish.

Cleaning a metal surface is very popular. The most common we see is to remove oils, organics, oxidation, and other small particles that stuck to the metal surface.

Metal finishing can be accomplished chemically or mechanically, and we offer both surface treatments.

Plating is another form of Metal Finishing. Plating is an additive process where metal is deposited on top of a surface electrolytically or electroless. We offer electroless plating.

What are common uses for metal finishing Chemcut lines?

Chemical Cleaning

Ultrasonic Cleaning

Electroless Plating ­

Mechanical Cleaning

Micro Etching


Chemcut Wet Processing Lines for Metal Finishing

Acid Cleaner. The goal is to remove any contaminants that may be on the surface. This metal acid clean will micro etch the surface (depending on the metal) which increases lamination adhesion.

Alkaline Cleaner. The goal of this step is to remove all oils and organics from the surface.

Anti-Tarnish. Aids in corrosion resistance.

Inner-layer bonding treatments for PCB multilayer construction. Multi-bond, Bond Film, Cobra Bond, and other proprietary chemistries that are used as a surface treatment that adds an oxide layer to the surface to aid with lamination adhesion.

Black Hole / Eclipse / Shadow / Envision HDI. Through-hole metallization process for PCB fabrication.

Copper Conveyorized Plating is an additive process where you are plating copper on a surface. Our plating lines are electroless. This means copper is plated through a chemical reaction instead of using an electrical current. This process is very common in PCB manufacturing to create or increase electrical conductivity.

Electrolytic Cleaning – completed before the micro etch process to remove the chromate layer on PCB / copper foil. The chromate layer will protect the surface from micro etching and needs to be removed by electrolytic cleaning PCB copper.

Glass Cleaning.  To remove oils, dust, and handling marks from the glass surface. Clean, rinse, and dry. The system can be designed for high-temperature cleaning as high as 180 F.

Immersion Silver

Immersion Tin

Outer-layer bonding treatments for Soldermask coatings prior to Ni/Au plating or Sn plating.

Mechanical Deburr is typically used on rigid metals and PCBs after drilling to deburr the holes. Deburr is more aggressive than the scrubber and will result in a uniform, parallel grain-finished surface.

Mechanical Scrubber is used on flexible and rigid metals as a metal and/or PCB cleaner. The scrubber is less aggressive than the deburr and will result in a uniform, parallel grain-finished surface like the deburr.

Micro Etching is used for several reasons. The most common we see are for increasing lamination adhesion, creating a matte finish, and thinning of metal. A micro etch can be completed on nearly any metal like chemical etching. Below is a list of common micro etching lines.

Stainless Steel Micro Etcher

Copper Micro Etcher

Titanium Micro Etcher

Glass Frosting

Specialty Metal Micro Etcher

Popular Options for the Metal and PCB Fabrication Process Lines includes:

Acid Normality Controller – popular for cupric chloride etchant

Drip Pan – easy to clean up drips and spills because the pan catches all chemistry around the wet processing equipment.


Chiller Cooling System

Inline Filtration – results in less clogged nozzles and fewer particles in solution

Ion Exchange – for the rinse stations. Saves water by removing metal from the water. This gives you the ability to “close loop” your rinse water system.

ORP Controller – a popular option for Cupric and Ferric etchers and comes with a regeneration system

pH Controller – is used for the alkaline cleaning step for dosing.

Specific Gravity Controller (IX) with Visual Baume – never let your etchant Baume get too high or low again

Ventilation Demister – aids in condensation and recovery of evaporated process chemistry vapor.

The options do not stop there. Chemcut wet processing machines are modulated. That allows you to configure your machine in any order you want.

Please proceed to our products to find all the different conveyor widths you can pick from.

Why Choose Chemcut to Build Your Mechanical or Chemical Wet Cleaning Process Line?

Chemcut’s process engineers have over 100 years of combined experience in the wet processing industry.

Whether you are processing rigid or flexible materials, Chemcut will find a way to make your metal finishing process a flying success. We are willing to customize our metal finishing machines to your every need.

Contact us today so we can discuss your metal finishing project to determine what chemical process or mechanical process will best optimize your manufacturing needs.

Once we determine the best metal finishing equipment for you, we will start our lab testing phase. For the testing phase, we will need you to supply us with the glass, ceramic, or metal you want to finish, and/or the chemistry if we decide on a chemical glass, ceramic, or metal cleaner.

Chemcut can test unusual chemistries (organic solvents for example) for material compatibility prior to system build to verify the process will work, and that materials selected for construction are durable and robust.

Chemcut will prove our metal finishing machines can attain your goals and we will help you optimize all your wet chemical cleaning processing or metal finishing steps.

In the end, the optimization really comes down to you testing your new equipment and finding what best works for you, but we will be here the whole time to help you through every step.

Ultimately the main reasons our customers love working with us are:

We are here to serve you. Our pre and post-sales support is second to none and prides itself on our customer’s success. Our expert service team will ship parts overnight if needed. Most parts are shipped within 24 hours of purchase. Where our competitors will have you waiting weeks if not months for parts.

Etching Performance. Our etchers provide companies with the most uniform and accurate etched surface on the market today.

Durability. Our wet processing machines are built to last using USA sourced material that is the best in the world. We have hundreds if not thousands of etchers, developers, and strippers that are well over 30 years old still providing high quality etched components.

Vertically Integrated. We make over 90% of our parts so we do not rely on anyone else to make parts for us. This gives us complete control over quality and the ability to make parts in order to support installed systems that are over 30 years old. We never have to worry about a supplier discontinuing a part and if a part is not in stock, we can start building it immediately.

Completely customized wet processing machines. You can buy a standard etcher, or you can customize every single detail.

Research and Developing Lab Testing. Our research and development lab will prove to you that our machines can etch the components you want and can help you optimize your etching process.

Scale Up. Consultation with Chemcut design and process engineers will help you scale up from prototype design to full-scale continuous production.


etching pcb and chemical milling