Chemical Etching is the process of corroding metal in a highly controlled manner in order to achieve a visible design, numbers, or words. Almost all metals can be etched and it is often a cost-effective alternative to other traditional machining processes.


Chemical etching first came to prominence during the Middle Ages as an alternative to engraving. Images (such as family crests) and designs were chemically burned into armor and shields. Etching proved to be a better choice than engraving, as it left a smooth finish free from burrs. It also allowed for stronger metals to be used because they did not need to be softer than the engraving tool.

Benefits of Chemical Etching

Burr Free: With chemical etching, you need not worry about burrs and sharp edges that can be left after stamping and cutting. Etching allows for a finish that is smooth to the touch, eliminating the need for filing and sanding.

Diversity of Materials: Nearly every metal and alloy can be etched chemically. Aluminum, steel, and copper are among the most common, but the options do not end there. As opposed to punching, stamping, laser cutting, and other traditional machining processes, the flexibility or brittleness of the metal is not important with chemical etching, which allows for greater choice in material.

Quick Turnaround: Because etching does not require tooling or intricate production preparation, the finished product is delivered in days, not weeks. Etching components are done simultaneously using a mask, so complex designs can be completed in the same amount of time as simple ones.

If you are in need of an accurate, clean design and do not have time to waste, chemical etching is a quality option. We invite you to contact us at Detroit Nameplate Etching Company to learn more about chemical etching, and to discuss whether this process is the best choice for your product.