Advanced Chemical Etching Ltd

Unit 31-34
Hortonwood 33
United Kingdom

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Today 08:00 AM - 04:30 PM (Currently Closed)
Fax: 01952 416667
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Located in Telford, Shropshire and specialising in the manufacture of precision photo-etched metal components for customers  in a broad range of industries including aerospace, electronics, automotive, medical, fuel cell, telecommunications and more, Advanced Chemical Etching Ltd is constantly etching new boundaries of innovation whilst delivering solutions to some of the biggest names in the world. Often taking just a few days in lead times, Advanced Chemical Etching’s processes enable today’s product development engineers much greater flexibility in design. Other benefits brought with such capabilities include low-cost digital tooling, no need for hard tooling, no resultant metal stress or part deformation, burr-free parts and material properties remain unchanged. With excellent precision, repeatability and accuracy, combined with a quick turnaround, our processes are excellent for prototypes and allow for engineering changes and modifications to be made quickly, easily and inexpensively. Please browse our website to see our range of processes, and, welcome to 21st century manufacturing excellence!

Photo Etching

This system uses a combination of photographic and chemical processes to image and etch the metal to shape. A unique process, it enables exceptionally accurate and fine details on a full range of metals. It’s also totally unrivalled in that no other method can produce burr-free or stress-free parts with the added benefit of being incredibly cost-effective, and, with short lead times. With a reputation for service and quality leaving the competitors standing, you’ll find that prototypes or samples can be produced rapidly and if a design change is required, the photo tooling can be altered to allow for total optimisation of the product.

Molecular Etching

A process fit for the 21st century, molecular etching, although in its infancy, has already been identified as an efficient, economical, safe and predictable method of etching. For a net shape its benefits include high accuracy (±10% of material thickness), no burrs for subsequent removal (as in punching), no material stress (as in pressing), no requirement for tool wear compensation, it uses an ambient/low temperature process (no heat distortion or partial tempering as in laser cutting), it maintains material properties and more! Should you wish to know more about molecular etching you can either visit our website or call us today!


The ACmE process overcomes a problem with the increasingly popular aluminium and its alloys; thanks to their strength to weight ratios and natural corrosion resistance. However, they are exceptionally difficult to etch using conventional technology because of the ductility of these materials and because they’re prone to ‘pick-up’ and ‘galling’ during the machining process. ACmE stands for Aluminium Compliant Molecular Etching which is a fast process; as fast as etching stainless steels, it’s an efficient process with high aspect ratios and makes new levels of quality achievable, including smooth edge and smooth surface etch profiles. Download our ACmE capabilities PDF online to find out more.


TiME stands for Titanium Molecular Etching and is regarded as the new and safe way to etch titanium. Whilst renowned for various benefits such as strength, lightweight properties and high temperature performance, titanium is difficult to etch because it rapidly forms a protective oxidised coating when exposed to air; something that is incredibly hard to dissolve. Typically hydrofluoric acid is used to etch this material because of its ability to remove this layer but it comes with the disadvantage of being highly toxic. Advanced Chemical Etching Ltd has come up with TiME in answer to this traditional method; visit our website to learn more.


Sometimes, the presence of traces of copper on the surface of aluminium is particularly undesirable and although ACE’s new process has been shown to produce a clean surface when etching aluminium, the R&D team have come up with a cleaning process called CuRE, which stands for Copper Removal; ensuring that the surface of aluminium is 100% copper-free. Analyses using scanning electron microscopes have shown that when using the traditional ACmE process there is very little copper left, however with the new cleaning process there is literally 0.00%. If you have any questions about our new cleaning process please contact us.

Chemical / Photo Etching - the Process

Chemical/photo etching is usually performed in a series of eight steps starting with photo tooling preparation where a front and back registered film is plotted from the data provided by the customer. This is then followed by cutting metal to the appropriate size which is then chemically cleaned to remove any contaminants from the surface. A laminating process then takes place followed by printing of the image to the metal sheet. The metal sheet is then chemically developed so that the main process can begin - the etching. Once etched it is then stripped of the dry film and is then ready for an inspection.


Forming work includes metal prototypes, components and assemblies, precision forming, spot welding including micro spot welding, tape and reel packaging, sheet metal forming (CNC press brake), soldering, tapping, welding, deep drawn components, tool making, wire erosion, aerospace components, over-moulding and assembly. All this is done by Advanced Chemical Etching’s sister company ACE Forming and thanks to a team of highly skilled staff and superior manufacturing we have built up an excellent reputation for working with numerous blue chip companies and product developers. For more information about our forming processes please contact us or click on our sister company’s link on our website.

Other Processes

To appropriately suit the requirements of each individual job Advanced Chemical Etching has a range of different processes including WEDM (wire electrical discharge machining) - which involves utilising a thin metal wire that is electrically charged in order to cut intricate shapes in metals and alloys. There is also laser/water jet cutting; uniquely, we can also offer laser cutting of copper. We also offer microprocessor controlled spot welding and microspot welding. For those customers requiring assembly, we are able to undertake complex assemblies and have dedicated cells for customers. Finally we offer surface treatment; with a range of plating finishes, selected insulation protection, heat treatment and passivation!



Registration Number: 03951248
VAT Number: n/a
Registered at Companies House:20 March, 2000 (23 years and 11 months ago)
No of Employees: 21-50
Annual Turnover: n/a
Company Type:
  • Manufacturer

Opening Times

Monday 08:00 AM - 04:30 PM
Tuesday 08:00 AM - 04:30 PM
Wednesday 08:00 AM - 04:30 PM
Thursday 08:00 AM - 04:30 PM
Friday 08:00 AM - 04:30 PM
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

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Additional Information

Brand & Trade Names

  • ACmE - Aluminium Compliant molecular Etching ACE has pioneered a new process, Aluminium Compliant molecular Etching (ACmE), for etching Aluminium. Aluminium and its alloys are increasingly popular materials, thanks to their high strength to weight ratios and natural corrosion resistance. However, the ductility of these materials makes them prone to pick-up and galling during the machining process and exceptionally difficult to etch using conventional technology. The ACmE process overcomes this problem.
  • TiME - Titanium Molecular Etching ACE has pioneered a new process, Titanium Compliant Etching (TiME), for etching Titanium. Titanium is renowned for its strength, light-weight properties and high temperature performance but it is difficult to etch due to the fact that it rapidly forms a protective oxidised coating when exposed to the air; a coating that is exceptionally hard to dissolve. Traditionally, Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) has been used as the preferred etchant becuase of its ability to remove this oxide layer but it is a highly toxic material one to be avoided if possible. ACE has vastly increased the processing speeds and etch rate of Titanium. the ACE chemistry has a higher etching capacity. This is still one of the only safer etchants for etching Titanium and is unique to ACE.

Financial Information

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