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What is Chemical Etching?

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Chemical etching is a traditional process used to achieve a deep impression into metals such as stainless steel, brass, copper and bronze.

The process consists of applying a chemical resist coating to metal sheets or parts in any pattern or design – the resist coating protects the metal where it has been applied. This is then sent through an etching machine full of Ferric Chloride – an acidic solution. The acid dissolves any metal which has not been coated with the resist to the required depth.

The flexibility of etching means that multiple designs and patterns can be etched within one manufacturing run, allowing for variable data, QR Codes and serialisation at a depth which cannot be achieved using laser marking for example, and with an unbeaten durability. 

Chemical Etching can be combined with precision laser cutting – allowing for any cut shape, as well as the option to infill the etch using either traditional hand infilling or a digital infill. Alternatively the etch can be left unfilled, showcasing just the raw material.

Etching is suitable for a whole range of applications such as metal nameplates, plaques, signage, decorative panels and bespoke projects as well as free issue parts providing they meet the material and machine parameters. Fine Cut have used the etching process for an array of different applications, from their everyday metal nameplates to large decorative installs and even Television programme props. 

For more information please contact Fine Cut on 01903 751666 or email

Manufacturing & Engineering Magazine | The Home of Manufacturing Industry News

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