Chemical Etching

Interplex’s advanced chemical metal etching technologies, with proprietary reel-to-reel processing methods, provide very close tolerances and high repeatability for features that are too small to achieve with conventional stamping processes.

With over 30 years of chemical etching innovation and product design experience, our unique capabilities are geared to help customers achieve even the most difficult and intricate geometric features on a variety of Stainless Steel or Copper alloys.

Our half-etching processes can be used for special applications such as hand break-offs, sharp beveled edges and tips, capillary grooves and other unique features.

By leveraging proven processes on the same flexible equipment for all prototype and production runs, we eliminate the need for special tooling or process migration, thereby optimizing time to market and lowering overall production costs. Typically, we can go from quote to production deliveries in less than 6 weeks and can ramp-up from a few pieces to over 10 million in a matter of weeks.

Our fully computerized process control system manages 160 critical physical and chemical process variables in real time to assure uniform and consistent results. Results are also automatically audited by online vision systems at the end of the lines.

Interplex’s chemical etching processes are certified to ISO 9001, TS16949 and ISO 14001. Lamination and Exposure processes are performed in a class 100 (ISO 5) cleanroom. Output areas of the etch lines are enclosed in a class 10,000 (ISO 7) cleanroom, so as parts exit the naturally particle-resistant etch process, they are immediately packed within this cleanroom environment.

Achievable Features and Specifications

  • Minimum Feature Size: 1.2x material thickness
  • Minimum Thickness: 0.0008″ (0.0203 mm)
  • Feature Tolerance: 10% of material thickness
  • Maximum Thickness: 0.0200″ (0.508 mm)
  • Maximum Part Width: 8″ (203 mm)
  • Maximum Part Length: 1,500′ (457 m)

Unique Selling Proposition of Interplex’s Chemical Etching Technology

  • Burr Free – With metal etching, including panel etching, customers can design burr-free precision metal components with ultra-fine pitches, intricate shapes and 3D feature profiles that are otherwise not possible using traditional metal stamping processes
  • Increased Repeatability – Reel-to-reel chemical etching significantly reduces the total cost of quality, especially in high reliability applications
  • Improved Time to Market – Photo etched parts are produced using photo masks, which reduces tooling and production costs while improving time to market
  • Tight Tolerance – Continuous reel-to-reel chemical etching can hold very tight tolerances for small feature sizes with a very high degree of repeatability and consistency
  • Vertical Integration – Reel-to-reel metal etching of parts can be presented as inputs to other automated manufacturing processes such as forming, plating, insert molding and assembly on a reel, further reducing total manufacturing costs