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An overview: The Chemical Milling Process

There are many benefits to working with chemical milling companies to fabricate your precise metal object, but what exactly is chemical milling?

Chemical milling, or industrial etching in some cases, is the subtractive manufacturing process of using temperature-regulated etching chemicals in baths to remove a certain amount of material. This removal process will create the desired shape out of the metal, for aerospace, medical, manufacturing, or any number of other industries.

The basics

The basic steps of the chemical milling process:

  1. Precleaning
  2. Masking
  3. Scribing
  4. Etching
  5. Final Cleaning
  6. Stripping
  7. Mechanical Finishing

What can you chemically mill?

Chemical milling companies like Tech Met are able to create specialized, complex surfaces and products for specific purposes.

Using a chemical dissolution process, the surface of a material can be removed to mill size parts, remove weight, mill features, and prepare surfaces. This process aids in the manufacturing of components process.

Chemical milling capabilities

There are a lot of capabilities when it comes to precisely engineering chemical milling processes.

Surface Milling

  • Surface milling is the process of removing all surfaces on a component to reduce weight, increase performance, or achieve specific dimensions of the product.
  • This process can remove the surface on the entire object, or selectively using masking techniques.

Selective Chemical Milling

  • Using either in-house templates or customer-supplied templates, selective chemical milling is a way to create selectively milled objects.
  • Parts are precisely masked to ensure only specific area are chemically milled to create pockets.

Taper Milling

  • Certain chemical milling companies can perform taper milling, which is the process in which chemical mills creates a progressively tapered thickness in sheet, bar, and tube components made from alloys.
  • Taper milling is the perfect process for liners or tubing, to repair collapsed casings, and is designed to clean with damaging or cutting surfaces.
  • Taper milling is available in specific or a variety of configurations and sizes.
  • To taper mill, the alloy is raised in and out of the milling solution as it is being etched.
  • This process can be done both linear or curved.

Decorative Pattern Milling

  • Large flat panels can be decoratively milled to create etched or printed art effects for architectural applications.
  • Laser scribing, pattern screening, and other techniques are used on these panels.

3D Photo Chemical Etching

  • Using a specific chemical milling process, patterns can be etched on a wide range of materials with tight tolerances of up to .00024”.
  • Photochemical etching creates highly complex parts, with dimensional repeatably and very fine detail.

Who is Tech Met?

Tech Met was incorporated in the late 1980s by Gary Reed to provide processing and solutions of superalloys for industrial and aerospace customers. Since then, the company has grown and offers a wide variety of chemical milling options.

If you’re ready to reach out to one of the best world-class chemical milling companies, contact us today.