Stainless Steel Chemical Etching

Stainless Steel is a group of iron-based alloys containing Chromium and Nickel (and to a smaller degree, other metals) to provide physical strength and corrosion resistance.

Fotofab chemically etches 301, 302/304, 316/316L, and 400 series stainless steel parts for a variety of applications and industries.

300 and 400 Series Stainless Steel Chemical Etching

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) designates a variety of Steel and Stainless Steel types based on standard compositions. They have developed a three-digit numbering system to identify each type.

Type 304 (also called 18-8) is the most common type, composed of Steel, plus 18% Chromium and 8% Nickel. Stainless Steel is an excellent choice for applications in electrical and electronic industries where it is in contact with moisture or other corrosive elements.

Fotofab’s chemical etching process produces designs that can withstand harsh indoor and outdoor environments. The process uses a strong caustic chemical to etch into unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design or image formed to your project’s specifications.

Characteristics of Stainless Steel

  • Anti-corrosive and tarnish resistant
  • Better thermal conductivity than steel
  • Low conductor of electricity
  • Depending on the specific alloy type, there are both magnetic and non-magnetic types
  • Excellent formability and high-temperature performance

Stainless Steel Grades We Work With

We work with most grades of Stainless Steel for different applications. Below are some of the most popular grades of Stainless Steel. If you do not see the grade your project needs please contact us to discuss it.

300 Series

  • 301
  • 302
  • 304 (18-8)
  • 316/316L
  • 321

400 Series

  • 410
  • 416
  • 420
  • 430
  • 440


  • 17-4 (SAE Type 630)
  • 17-4 PH
  • Full and Half Hard
  • Annealed

Contact Our Experts Today

Fotofab is ISO & AS9100D Certified, ITAR Registered, and RoHS compliant.
Get in touch if you have questions or are ready to start your custom project.

Acid Etching for Stainless Steel Applications

Stainless Steel is excellent for applications that come in contact with moisture and other corrosive elements because of its anti-corrosive characteristics and tarnish-free surface. It is often used for components in commercial applications and industry for its strength, temperature and corrosion resistance, and appearance. Stainless Steel products etched and fabricated by Fotofab include:

Other Factors

  • There are more than 60 grades of stainless steel, which can be categorized into 5 series based on their alloying elements.
  • As a material to accept various fabrication methods, stainless steel can be more challenging than softer metals.
  • The average carbon footprint of stainless steel is estimated to be 2.90 kg of CO2 per kg of stainless steel produced.

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