Can you please very briefly outline the steps and machinery involved in Chemically Milling (Etching) metal plates?

  1. Artwork is normally created with a CAD programme and the artwork created with a Photoplotter like the Fortex FP25000.
  2. The correct type of metal is selected and cleaned.  The metal is then laminated on both sides using Dry Film Photo resist normally using a Dry Film Hot Roll Laminator.
  3. The artworks previously created is then placed over both sides of the metal plate and exposed in a UV Exposure unit.
  4. The areas of the Photoresist that has being protected from the UV light by the artwork remains soft and is chemically developed away, leaving the metal exposed ready for etching.  The component image remains protected by the resist.
  5. The prepared metal sheets are now passed through the spray Etching Machine.
  6. The Final stage of the Photochemical milling is to strip off the resist the etched component and ensure the metal is clean.