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Metal equipment nameplates or tags provide messages that are needed for corporate identification, product information or safety identification.

Whether they be rating plates, ID plates, instructional placards, safety ID or a scale, gauge or measuring device, we would like them to be there when we need them.

A number of years ago, a manufacturer of paint and finish application equipment came to Nutron after they had a problem with an equipment nameplate provided by another vendor. One of their units was determined to be the source of a fire in a customer’s plant, and the litigants claim was that there was no warning or instructional message on the equipment, and without such, no notice to the operator for proper use was stated.

During the discovery process, it was found that there was in fact a metal nameplate on the original equipment. However, only the metal tag itself survived, not the wording or instruction information. The nameplate had an ink surface image, which was burned away by the fire.

Two remedies were recommended.

Use nameplates and tags that provide heat and solvent resistance.
  1. The OEM change the specification for the imaging process on the nameplate. An anodized-etched or etched imaging process could provide the heat resistance and solvent resistance necessary for this message.
  2. The manufacturer record evidence of this nameplate and other important messages installed on its original equipment with product photos, literature, etc.

The following are options for process specifications of aluminum equipment nameplates and tags that provide varying degrees of heat resistance and solvent resistance. The samples were directly exposed to a propane flame at temperatures of between 500’ and 600’f for approximately 3 minutes.

A – Etched Aluminum Nameplate

  • Temperature range: -40’ to 1200`f (approx. melting point of metal)
  • Solvent resistance: all solvents
  • Wear resistance: excellent
  • Images are incised into the metal 3-5 mil deep, with or without paint fill
Expect wear resistance from quality nameplates.
Expect wear resistance from quality equipment tags.

B – Anodized Etched Aluminum Nameplate  

  • Temperature range: -40’ to 400’-500f  image discoloration possible at higher end of range.
  • Solvent resistance: most all solvents
  • Wear resistance: very good
  • Image or its background are anodized.
Count on solvent resistance from quality equipment nameplates.

C – Surface Imaged Aluminum Nameplate                             

  • Temperature range: -40’ to 350f   image discoloration, loss of image likely at high end of range or above.
  • Solvent resistance: some cleaning fluids and mild solvents
  • Wear resistance: satisfactory-depending upon end use and process
  • Performance of inked surface images vary significantly depending upon ink type and process
Equipment tags should provide wear resistance.
Understand how link surface images will hold up with cleaning fluids and mild solvents.

Testing performed in-house on metal equipment nameplates and tags under controlled conditions. Actual performance of these products may vary slightly depending upon aluminum alloy, surface finish, installation location, and conditions in the field. Nutron or its employees assumes no liability nor makes any representation or warranty of product from the recommendations or suggestions herein. Responsibility for fitness of purpose and use are the sole responsibility of the purchaser, the manufacturer of the equipment, or the owner and user of said equipment. We strongly suggest that users of this information consult their legal and engineering departments to determine their responsibilities in matters of this nature.

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