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Different Marking Methods Used for Customizing Metal Nameplates With

Updated on January 16, 2014
Marking Methods for Custom Metal Nameplates
Marking Methods for Custom Metal Nameplates

Did you know that metal nameplates can actually be customized in many different ways? Some people think that the only way these plates can be marked or customized is by stamping. This is not true. There are actually many different marking methods that can be used to create the many different kinds of name plates you or your company may need.

So what exactly are these marking methods and where are these ideally used? The marking methods you choose for your plates will often depend on numerous factors. These include such issues like where these are to be used, what these will be exposed to, what you expect to get from such plates and many more. The material that you use for your metal nameplates and your budget will also play a part in the kind of marking method that you choose.

Hand Held Stampers for Metal Nameplates
Hand Held Stampers for Metal Nameplates

Marking Methods Often Used for Metal Nameplates

As mentioned earlier, a lot of people believe that the best marking method (and what they perceive as the one chosen by most people) for their metal nameplates is stamping. Stamping is a very good marking method for numerous reasons, one of which is the durability of the markings. When a metal plate is stamped with information, it is very hard for anyone to try and erase the writings on the plate since it is, after all, stamped into the hard metal.

This is not the only durable marking method used on metal name plates though. There are quite a few marking techniques that are also somewhat impervious to vandalism and defacement. Here are some of them:

Etching – this is a marking method that uses the power of acids against metals to create words, images and messages on these plates. A metal can be etched to carry warnings (for warning and instructional plates), to be used for portraits and awards (commemorative plaques are often made this way), and for ADA compliant signs (the acid eats away the surrounding areas to result in raised characters on the plate). How this works is a protective coating is applied to the areas of the plate that is not to be eaten away by the mordant. The plate, after being treated, is then submerged in a solution that effectively but cleanly erodes the metal. The longer the plate is in the mordant, the deeper the etchings. An optional layer of paint or ink can make the designs on these etched nameplates stand out or look more prominent.

Photosensitizing – this is a marking choice that results in designs that can last for a decade or two, depending on the photosensitizing method used. To photosensitize a plate is to essentially embed colors or designs into the surface of the metal (oftentimes aluminum) which is then followed by a protective layer that effectively seals in the design, keeping it safe from damage or defacement. Most people who choose this marking method often choose to use the black and white option rather than the colored ones when they want their prints to last for longer. Photosensitized plates are used by the military, by various industries for the creation of schematics, and by businesses for their labeling needs.

Embossing – similar to stamping, embossed metal plates are also considered very durable due to the way these are manufactured. Embossed plates are crafted with the use of a male and female die that “stamps” the design into the metal with the use of a machine. This method is ideal for the production of numerous plates at one time since the stamping machines used for these are often those that can accommodate huge metal plates and numerous dies at the same time. The produced plates can then be painted over to help enhance the design of each plate, or to simply make the markings stand out. This marking method is often used for plates that are made for labeling, serial number and model plates, decorative trim plates and promotional plates.

These are but a few of the marking methods that are used for the customization of metal nameplates. Other options that people can also choose from include laser marking, digital printing, stonewear and silk screening. The marking method you choose will dictate how your plates will look, how long the print will last and where these can be used.

Etched Metal Nameplates
Etched Metal Nameplates

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