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6 reasons anodized aluminum is valuable for metal nameplates and labels

by Glenn Farrell, on Jan 30, 2024 1:24:04 PM

When choosing a metal substrate for industrial nameplates and labels, be sure to throw anodized aluminum into the mix. 

What is anodized aluminum? 

An anodized metal—in this case aluminum—has been submerged in an electrolyte bath and subjected to an electric current. This low-cost process adds a layer of oxide, making anodized aluminum more suitable for some metal nameplates and labels than its non-anodized counterpart. 

In the most general terms, anodized aluminum offers a lightweight, durable option. 

The following characteristics make anodized aluminum an ideal metal substrate in certain industrial environments: 

  1. Enhanced Hardness: Anodized aluminum is three times as hard as standard aluminum. This elevated hardness translates into increased resistance against wear, abrasion, and mechanical damage. 
  2. Impervious Finish: The anodized layer is impervious to chipping, flaking, or peeling. This ensures durability and legibility, even in demanding industrial settings. 
  3. Improved Corrosion Resistance: While aluminum and anodized aluminum are rustproof, they are still susceptible to corrosion. Anodized aluminum, however, is less likely to corrode because of its thicker, protective layer of oxide. 
  4. Increased Adhesion and Color Absorption: Because it is more porous, anodized aluminum does a better job of absorbing adhesives, primers, films, and color dyes. When color is added, anodized aluminum provides high contrast and excellent readability. When UV rays are not an issue. 

    When you need an even more durable solution, Metalphoto® is worth consideration. The retention of high-resolution images and ramped-up durability occurs because images are sealed within the layer of anodized aluminum. Metal nameplates and labels provide even more resistance to abrasion, chemicals, corrosion, high temperatures, and sunlight. Watch this Metalphoto video for a brief introduction to MetalPhoto. Download Metalphoto specifications here.

  5. Thin Substrate Retains High Surface Strength: Anodized aluminum retains high surface strength, even when it is used to print thin labels. This feature makes it suitable for application on curved or uneven surfaces, such as pipes and cables. Also, since the anodized aluminum provides superior adhesion, the labels cannot be easily worn or removed.  
  6. Weight Efficiency: Despite its remarkable hardness, anodized aluminum maintains a 60% reduction in weight compared to steel. This weight efficiency becomes critical in applications where load capacity is a concern. 

The Cubbison Company has experts on hand to discuss  metal substrate options for your industrial nameplates and labels.

Email or call (800)-733-4133.