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Metalphoto Benefits


Last updated Dec 21, 2023 | Published on Jul 26, 2017

Using anodized aluminum, the Metalphoto® process creates incredibly durable nameplates and placards.

Are you in need of a highly durable and high-end looking nameplate? Look no further than Metalphoto®. This incredibly dependable and innovative material is gaining recognition in its uses for nameplates, placards, serial plates, and asset tags.

What is Metalphoto®?

Metalphoto® is a specific type of anodized aluminum used to make nameplates, labels, control panels, serial plates, placards and asset tags. Originally developed for the US Navy in the 1950’s and specified by most major OEMs, it is one of the most durable identification materials available today.

To begin the Metalphoto® process, all that is needed is a digital art file. This art file is transferred via laser onto a pure 1100 alloy aluminum sheet, which can range in thickness between 0.003″ to 0.125″. The sheet is then put through a processor that develops the artwork on the photosensitive aluminum. Although Metalphoto® images and text are primarily black, additional colors can be screen-printed at this time.

The graphics are exposed and developed like a photograph inside of the anodized aluminum, which causes it to become a part of the nameplate. This unique production method provides the unparalleled durability that Metalphoto® is known for. Finally, the parts are placed in a nickel sulfite tank to seal the sliver-based graphics underneath the sapphire-hard anodic layer. All graphics and text on a Metalphoto® component are sealed inside of the anodic layer, making it ideal for any identification material where maintaining legibility is crucial. Metalphoto® comes in four different finishes: matte, satin, gloss, and a #4 brushed finish that resembles stainless steel.

Metalphoto® Benefits

Using Metalphoto® rather than etched steel or printed stainless steel has many benefits. Metalphoto® has unmatched durability and resistance properties. It can sustain an outdoor life of 20+ years, is resistant to over 7,000 cycles of abrasion, can withstand temperatures in excess of 750°F, and is specifically designed to be salt spray and chemical resistant.

In addition, the resolution of graphics on Metalphoto® is significantly clearer than on etched steel. The method of using a projected image makes any letters, numbers, symbols, and pictures extremely legible and appear as crisp and clean as a photograph.

Metalphoto® is also less expensive than stainless steel in lower quantities, especially for variable data/runs. Unlike steel or other nameplates, it does not require individual engraving, punching, or laser marking for variability in images or information. Using the computerized imaging process also makes Metalphoto® perfect for serialization, as it does not affect the process or price to make each Metalphoto® plate different in image or serial number.

Metalphoto® Examples

A solar lighting corporation asked Boyd to create a high quality, high resolution nameplate that could last outdoors on their solar-powered street lights. This nameplate needed to be durable in all weather conditions, pliable enough to wrap around the light post, and still sustain a clear image. Boyd’s experts suggested a thin Metalphoto® nameplate, which ended up being the perfect solution to meet the customer’s needs.

Another example is a nameplate solution Boyd produced for a coffee company. Instead of withstanding extreme weather conditions, the customer wanted a high-end nameplate with higher resolution graphics for their coffee machines. The nameplate needed to project clear images while being able to withstand chemical corrosion from cleaning materials. The customer went with a Metalphoto® nameplate, which perfectly met their quality specifications.

Metalphoto® is also perfectly suited for use in the aerospace industry for reliable equipment and identification items. Ideal for both interior and exterior applications, Metalphoto® parts can be seen throughout aircrafts in the form of barcode labels, nameplates/data plates, placards, maintenance schematics, machine control panels, and other identification products.

Metalphoto’s® durability and resolution makes for a great nameplate, placard, serial plate, or asset tag for your product. Metalphoto® nameplates are crisp, clear, and are easy to produce in high quantities with variable images/data.

Boyd is a certified converter of Metalphoto® and has been providing custom branding solutions for decades. Learn more about our branding capabilities or with our experts.

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