Non-hazardous Gold Etching ServicePhotofab has launched another new service and is now offering chemical etching of gold. While this is not new within the PCM industry, our method is undertaken without the use of hazardous chemicals. The new technique uses an electrolytic rather than chemical etching process, typically utilising a simple saline solution as the electrolyte.

Industrial demand for gold continues to be dominated by the electronics, automotive and aerospace sectors. Gold’s ability to conduct electricity makes it an indispensable component for many manufacturers. Completely resistant to corrosion, it is the undisputed material of choice to guarantee reliability in a broad range of high-performance and safety-critical applications.

Therefore, the demand for prototype parts manufactured from gold has also increased. However, until now, many companies have had to contend with relatively high costs to produce the small number of parts required for proof of concept or prototype models. However, now Photofab offers the chemical etching of gold, manufacturers can request small or large quantities without prohibitive tooling or set up costs. In fact, the process can be used on a variety of exotic metal alloys, including but not limited to alloys containing gold, silver, palladium, molybdenum.

This new method of burr-free part production is fully compliant with the Restrictive use of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive which came into effect in 2006 which aims to restrict the use of six dangerous substances commonly used in electronic equipment.

Currently Photofab has etched metal up to 75 microns thick however, the team is happy to look at thicker requirements. Orders to date have been etched on small sheets, usually 100mm square, but again, this has been due to client requirement rather than any technical limitations.

Larger requirements can be fulfilled, please call the Photofabrication team to discuss your particular needs.

Tell us about your product idea