Useful Reading: Nameplates
This section contains articles related to the primary use of nameplates. By reading these informative articles you will know more about the importance of materials and processes in the manufacturing of quality nameplates.
Selecting Right Nameplate Materials
It is vital to select the right material when creating nameplates or various environmental factors can deteriorate their quality and durability, resulting in higher cost and safety issues.
It is vital to select the right material when creating nameplates or various environmental factors can deteriorate their quality and durability, resulting in higher cost and safety issues. When selecting your nameplates, nametags or custom labels, look for a material that
• is highly durable.
• resists corrosion and abrasion.
• will not fade or chip in harsh environments.
• has a high temperature resistance.
• has a high chemical and solvent resistance.
In addition, your nameplate material should be versatile, hard and malleable. The material for nameplate can be metallic or non-metallic, depending upon the environment in which your product will operate. Either way, there is a wide range of materials available.
Some of the metallic materials available are stainless steel, brass, and aluminum. These are extremely durable and possess all the characteristics mentioned above. Stainless steel nameplates are best for salt water environments and harsh indoors and outdoors. Brass nameplates are suited for salt water environments as well, and are a popular option for ocean and sub marine applications and for decorative purposes. Aluminum is known for its lightweight and strength and is best suited for industrial nameplates. Aluminum nameplates are durable and highly resistant to corrosion and oxidation. Although it is not recommended for salt water environments, aluminum is equally ideal as steel and brass for harsh and normal environments.
Non-metallic materials include polycarbonates, lexan, mylar and vinyl. Polycarbonate nameplates are the most preferred because polycarbonate is one of the most durable plastics available. It offers excellent light transmission and resistance to harsh conditions. Lexan ™ is a polycarbonate manufactured by General Electric. Lexan ™ nameplates are chemical and abrasion resistant, making them ideal for a variety of applications. Mylar is a strong laminated polyester film, suitable for sub-surface printing (printing done below the surface or on the back of the material). Because of sub-surface printing, Mylar name plates are abrasion resistant and its text, logos or images remain secure as they are protected from harsh elements. Mylar nameplates are ideal for normal indoor use. Vinyl is non-laminated polyester with good resistance and is good for surface printing. It is also the most commonly used plastic in the world.
Nameplates - Industrial utility
Various industries depend upon nameplates for range of applications. The industrial nameplates have unique properties, which make them withstand harsher operating environments.
Various industries depend upon nameplates for range of applications. The industrial nameplates have unique properties, which make them withstand harsher operating environments and these properties vary from application to application. Special materials and processes involved make them appropriate for industrial utility.
Some industries using name plates are; Aircraft and aerospace, automotive industry, electronics, government and military agencies, marine industry, OEM, oilfield etc. The major function of nameplate is to inform. It gives necessary product information like ‘the make’, dates, contact numbers etc. Aircrafts use many instruments, which need to be accurate and perform in extreme temperatures and at great heights. Name tags, control panels, dials and gauges all forms of name plates meet these needs.
Nameplates cater to the automotive industry also. Vehicles require them for identification, warning, operations and certification purpose0s. Truck, tanker and trailer manufacturers use VIN tags and assembly information; dial indicators for temperature, oil, liquid and vapor; emergency and prevention labels; and name plates with vehicle maintenance and warranty information.
Computers, electronic equipment use product and manufacturer information that fits into small areas and tolerates electrostatic discharge and heat dissipation. Name tags are used by government and military agencies as ID, asset and property plates. They are used as operating and warning signs for equipments.
Marine equipment and vessels also operate in some of the harshest outdoor environment of high temperatures and salt water. Marine industry uses long lasting, corrosion-proof nameplates for inspection and certification; hazardous conditions and safety tags; rating, re-rating and repair information on boilers, pressure gauges, tank plates, valves and more. OEMS and oilfields have wide application for nameplates. Attention and caution plates; logo decals; load charts; model and information panels for actuator, compressor, conveyor, gearbox, rotary switch etc are of great help in providing specific product information. Industrial nametags provide multi-language operating information for oil field equipments.
Polycarbonate Use in the Nameplate Industry
Polycarbonates are a particular group of thermoplastics widely used in the production of nameplates due to their high mechanical strength, toughness and clarity.
Polycarbonates are a particular group of thermoplastics widely used in the production of nameplates due to their high mechanical strength, toughness and clarity. Polycarbonate nameplates survive extreme environmental conditions like high temperature, chemical abrasions, and corrosion. Because it is a highly resistant material, Polycarbonate nameplates are well suited for harsh outdoors and indoor environments.
Polycarbonate nameplates are mainly transparent, have a high refractive index and thus transmit light better than glass.
Lexan® is a registered polycarbonate produced by General Electric plastics that is also used to produce nameplates, control panels, display plates, nametags and decals. Lexan nameplates are highly durable and cost effective. Their outstanding performance is due to a combination of versatile properties like optical clarity, heat resistance, dimensional stability, printability, and graphic design freedom. These qualities make Lexan, a perfect material to produce better quality solutions like reverse screen-printed nameplates, pressure sensitive nameplates, and membrane switch panels. It is stocked in sheets and rolls in clear film. Lexan textured films are typically used in membrane switch overlays, labels, control panels and name plates as they offer broad flexibility and artistic appeal.
Mylar: A Versatile Nameplate Material
Mylar is high performance polyester developed by Dupont Teijin films. It is available in clear, pigmented, matted, transparent colors and metallized films.
Mylar is high performance polyester developed by Dupont Teijin films. It is available in clear, pigmented, matted, transparent colors and metallized films. Mylar is made from ethylene glycol and dimethyl terephthalate (DMT). It is a versatile material used in a variety of applications due to characteristics like high tensile strength, durability, clarity, resistance to abrasion and solvents, electric insulation, resistance to shrinking or stretching, and is ideally suited for printing and die-cutting.
Because of Mylar’s balance of physical, thermal, optical and chemical properties, it acts as an excellent nameplate material for applications in electronics, magnetic media, packaging, product identification, imaging and graphing. Mylar nameplates best suit the outdoors, so they are preferred as product identification labels or nametags that have to bear harsh indoor and outdoor environments. Mylar nameplates withstand humid conditions and resists oils and solvents. Mylar is also an eco friendly polymer that can be easily aluminized with a thin sheet of metal. Aluminized Mylar is considered a better name plate material than aluminum because aluminized Mylar does not tear and is widely used for its reflective properties. Mylar labels are generally used to serve any kind of informational purpose, which can be etched into the Mylar sheet. It has a glossy, laminated look and is highly valued for its visual appeal.