Conard was founded in 1965 in Glastonbury, Connecticut and has continuously specialized in photo etching — also known as Photo Chemical Machining (PCM) or chemical etching. The founder, Richard C. Huttinger, was a metallurgist and engineer who had previously worked for both Boeing and Pratt & Whitney. Huttinger, working from his garage with his wife, developed a process to chemically mill the surface of forged aluminum propellor hubs for Pratt & Whitney. This process was more efficient and cost effective than conventional milling in the days before CNC machining was widely available.
Conard’s early expertise in chemically etching aluminum came to the attention of a major aerospace avionics company. Military and commercial avionics systems needed flat aluminum heatsinks to cool printed circuit boards. Photo etching aluminum was an ideal solution, and flat heatsinks remain a significant part of our business today. Conard’s proprietary process for etching aluminum is regarded as industry-leading. Conard provides aluminum etching service to a number of other etching companies.
Conard added electroforming capabilities to address growing needs for ever smaller and finer features than the etching process can produce. Apertures under 25 microns are possible with aspect ratios up to 5:1. For more information, download the Introductory Guide.
Conard has made a commitment to environmental responsibility. We have consciously chosen to invest only in aqueous etching technologies. Our process waste water is actually better quality in terms of pH and dissolved metals than our local water supply which, incidentally, is touted as one of the purest in the country. Conard is a Green Circle Award recipient from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection for consistently meeting and exceeding our environmental requirements.
Conard has achieved registration under the AS9100 Rev C/ISO9001 standards. We elected to take on the additional requirements of the AS9100 (aerospace) standards in order to assure both existing and new chemical etching customers that we are qualified to meet your requirements.
Conard has assisted hundreds of companies in developing applications for chemically etching precision metal parts. Metal etching with ferric chloride is suitable for an extensive range of metal alloys. A detailed list is here. We provide engineering and design support; rapid turn around of prototypes; and engage in special development projects to help customers solve complex problems.