Italix - Chemical Machining, Etching & Metal Finishing
Photo Chemical Machining

Photo Chemical Machining

Photo chemical machining is used to create many of the metal components used in today's electronic devices.

Photo chemical machining is the process of manufacturing components from sheet metal by removing material from selected areas through a controlled corrosive. The process was first introduced by circuit board manufacturers during the early days of computers. It became popular due to the highly precise and complex parts that it could be used to create.

The process of photo chemical machining uses ultra-violet light to essentially harden areas of the sheet metal that are not protected by the “photoresist”, a type of photographic film. Next a corrosive liquid known as an “etchant” is applied and the unprotected areas are dissolved, leaving the appropriate design in the metal. The exacting nature of this process makes it ideal for creating very precise pieces.

Photo chemical machining is also quite popular because it is a very cost effective method of manufacturing. A photoresist for nearly any part can be created for only a few hundred dollars, and because they are only exposed to light, they do not wear out like standard machining tools and templates. A single photoresist can be used to create thousands of precisely machined components.