I’ve determined I need a metal tag, so what are my choices?
Of the many converters/manufacturers of tags, labels and nameplates, a smaller number of them offer metal tags. Identification tags can be made in brass, stainless steel or aluminum.
Most of the uses we see for brass are in occasional military spec “call outs” or limited decorative and architectural applications. If a proper coating is not applied, the material will tarnish and pre-maturely degrade. Brass is generally more expensive, not readily found and often not available in “nameplate quality” form.
Stainless steel, on the other hand, is widely used when high durability is desired. When it is marked by etching or lasering, a coating is not usually required. The material is very hard and more difficult to fabricate than brass or aluminum. While usually less than brass, the cost of stainless-steel sheet is expensive.
Why aluminum identification tags?
The most widely used type of metal for identification tags is aluminum. While not as hard a material, it can approach the aspects of durability and permanency of stainless and ensure your message survives. It is readily available in multiple gauges as anodized or coated. Aluminum is lightweight, easily fabricated and the lowest in cost of the three substrates.
Aluminum can be imaged by a number of processes including anodizing, etching, screen printing, digital printing, embossing and indenting. One or another of these processes may be required for Mil Spec, UID, or Data Matrix applications.