Open Contact Popup


What is Acid Etching?

Acid Etching is defined as the process of cutting a hard surface, such as metal, using a corrosive chemical (etchant) in order to create a design onto the metal.

In this fast-moving manufacturing age, ACE has a proven track record of developing precision acid etched components. We are constantly creating innovative chemical etching techniques and manufacturing millions of etched components every year in 2000 different metals and in thicknesses of five microns to 2.5mm. Our team of technical experts are ready to advise on standard products for your sector or bespoke components that meet a specific technical application.

How To Acid Etch Metal IN 8 STEPS

The etching process using etching acid is multistage and can be broken down into a series of eight steps:

1. Choosing The Metal

Metal selected to meet customer requirements.


2. Metal Cleaning

Metal sheets are chemically cleaned.


3. Lamination

Dry film photosensitive resist is applied to both sides of the metal.


4. Printing

The design is transferred from the film to the coated sheet using UV LED exposure.


5. Developing

The unexposed areas of resist are developed away to leave exposed metal areas.


6. Etching

Etching acid is sprayed both sides and exposed metal is dissolved.


7. Stripping

Photo-resist is removed to leave the metal parts


8. Inspecting & Finishing

A visual and critical dimension inspection is undertaken. Bespoke products finished to customer specification.


The Etching Process

The etching process allows both surface etched detail and cut through areas to be produced at the same time onto metal thicknesses up to 1.5mm.

Etched Raised Areas

Alternatively, surface etched raised areas are produced by applying etching acid to one side only… an example is the manufacture of metal etched paper dies.

Metal Surface Etching

Etching detail can also be etched into the metal surface only… for uses such as etched presentation plaques or etched signage.

To Bear In Mind…

Unfortunately we are not able to put designs onto finished metal components or shaped metal items. Etching metal is performed by applying etching acid to perfectly flat sheets of metal. Please also note we are only able to etch metal.

Acid Etching Metal - Materials We Work With

ACE is the market leader in acid etching metal, and have pioneered many of the techniques that make acid etching on certain metals possible. These new processes allows ACE to etch even finer line micro channels and rapidly profile acid etched metal for customers involved in producing components for a variety of industries.

  • Acid Etching Stainless Steel

    Stainless Steel remains one of the most popular metals Advanced Chemical Etching produce acid etched components in, due in part to is outstanding corrosion and oxidisation resistance. Acid etching Stainless Steel can produce multi complex profile shapes with burr-free edges - no finishing required. This material's versatility makes etching Stainless Steel a valuable process for a wide variety of industry sectors.

  • Acid Etching Aluminium

    Aluminium and its alloys are prized in engineering for their lightweight durability that enables energy saving - however acid etching Aluminium has generally been considered a difficult and slow process using conventional chemistry. Advanced Chemical Etching have pioneered a unique process for etching Aluminium that is safer and more controllable than the industry standard.


  • Acid Etching Titanium

    Titanium is renowned for its strength and high-temperature performance, however, using etching acid on Titanium is difficult due to the oxidised coating that forms when exposed to air. Advanced Chemical Etching is the first chemical etching company to develop a unique, safer chemistry for etching Titanium, and is one of the few chemical etching companies that have production capacity for etching Titanium.

  • Other Metals We Acid Etch...

    Advanced Chemical Etching can etch a number of innovative materials. We have developed our own processes for etching Copper, Nitinol, Elgiloy, Iron and Nickel to name a few. Please contact our team if you have a project that requires a metal type you do not find on our site - we will always do our best to accommodate your specification.


Quickly navigate to

Scroll to Top