Fotofab is capable of etching and fabricating a wide range of metals, including pure metals and alloys that are known to be difficult to machine. Below is a list of standard metals that Fotofab can etch. If you need to etch a metal that is not on the list, please contact us. We will be able to advise whether or not a specific metal is conducive to the etching process or whether another technique is recommended.
An iron-nickel alloy with 42% nickel, often used in electronic lead frames
A controlled expansion iron-nickel alloy with 46% nickel, used in electronics
A controlled expansion iron-nickel alloy with 48% nickel, used in electronics
Alloys containing iron and other metals
An easy-to-form, non-magnetic and has 50-60% of the electrical conductivity of copper. It has characteristics that make it ideal for many applications but is less effective in low-frequency shielding than some other choices
A brand of copper
Strong, lightweight, non-magnetic, with a high melting point
A high-strength alloy used to make contacts and springs
A metal alloy primarily composed of copper, with zinc. May include smaller amounts of other metals
A soft metal possessing high thermal and electrical conductivity
Excellent thermal conductivity, low thermal expansion. Popular for heat sinks and lids
An alloy of cobalt and five other metals; used to make corrosion-resistant springs and other components
Gold (0.005″ x 6″ x 6″ max)
Generally used as a plating, especially for high-frequency RF applications
A chemical element with excellent mechanical properties and corrosion resistance. Uses include filaments and electrodes
A cobalt alloy with excellent resistance to corrosion and high fatigue. It is non-magnetic, biocompatible, and maintains high strength in raised temperatures
An unoriented, 80% nickel-iron-molybdenum alloy with high permeability used to shield electronic components from stray magnetic fields
Inconel (600, 718, and 750)
For extreme chemical, temperature and temperature environments. Industries include: aerospace, marine, and chemical, for turbine blades, rocket engines, and critical nuclear industry components
A nickel/iron alloy (36% nickel), which exhibits the lowest thermal expansion of metals. Used in precision devices such as lasers, instrumentation, thermostats, and equipment requiring stability at all temperatures
A heavy, very common ferrous mineral (metal) that is most often used as the largest component of iron-based alloys
A nickel/cobalt ferrous alloy with a similar temperature coefficient to borosilicate glass and is often used in applications requiring a glass-to-metal seal, such as a hermetic seal
An amorphous metal with excellent magnetic properties, such as high permeability, low loss, and a high-saturation magnetic flux density
In the form of a metal, low thermal expansion and the sixth-highest melting point of any element. It is a component in many steel alloys, including high-strength and superalloy types
An alloy composed mostly of nickel and copper, with smaller blends of iron, manganese, carbon, and silicon. It is resistant to the effects sea water and steam at high temperatures
A nickel-iron magnetic alloy that has very high permeability, making it well suited for shielding sensitive electronic circuits. Per the manufacturer, it is “used primarily in low-intensity fields where high attenuation is desired.”
Nickel is often the element making up the highest percentage of alloys used for shielding (such as MuMetal). It may also be used for plating
A non-magnetic alloy that is exceptionally hard and not very malleable. It has much lower electrical conductivity than copper
Nitinol or Nickel Titanium is an alloy that is roughly equal parts nickel and titanium. It has properties of shape memory and superelasticity. Applications take advantage of its retention of its original shape after being compressed
An alloy containing 80% nickel (and about 15% iron and 5% molybdenum) that is highly magnetic. Applications include shielding and as a magnetic core material in transformers
A copper alloy typically containing <10% tin and <0.35% phosphorus, often used where good electrical conductivity is needed, and components are stressed by repetitive motions (ie., connectors, switches, etc.)
A low-carbon steel alloy, with small quantities of silicon, to produce specific magnetic properties for application in transformers, motors and other magnetic devices. Also called electrical steel
Carbon steel ideal for fabricating flat springs and other stampings. Known for high yield strengths and resistance to deformation
A very popular, corrosion resistant and strong steel alloy. Its formulation can vary somewhat, though it is part of a group of iron-based metal containing at least 10% chromium
A ferrous alloy metal, composed primarily of iron, with carbon and other elements added depending on the characteristics desired. Its machinability will vary greatly depending on how it was fabricated
With strength comparable to steel, at only 45% of the weight, Titanium is desirable in many applications in aerospace, transportation, medicine, and more. It is corrosion resistant with formability similar to stainless steel
A metal best known for its application in light bulb and vacuum tube filaments. Because of its hardness, tungsten also has applications on penetrating projectiles and other military applications
An alloy with high density, high thermal conductivity, and low thermal expansion. Uses include fabrication of contacts, electrodes and heat sinks.
A silvery, ductile and malleable metal that is sometimes used as an alloying agent for its resistance to corrosion. Its alloys are used in medical implants. Because it does not absorb neutrons, zirconium has application in nuclear power plants
Metal Alloy Temper
Most metal alloys that Fotofab can use, with the chemical etching process, are available with different tempers. These tempers determine some physical properties of the metal. The physical requirements of your part will dictate the temper of the metal you decide to use.
Fotofab can produce your part from sheets of metal ranging in thickness from 0.0005 inches (0.013 mm) up to .090 inches (2.286 mm). Metal thickness tolerance often varies with the metal thickness; generally, the thicker the metal, the larger the thickness tolerance associated with it.
Fotofab stocks a wide selection of metals with various tempers and thicknesses. It is likely that we can meet your metal requirements from our stock. Our formal Lot Control Program allows us to trace each of your parts back to its certified metal source.
From etching aluminum to zirconium, Fotofab has the tools to get the job done. Contact us today!