The Metalphoto Process Explained

The metalphoto (photo anodized aluminum) is a great way to insure that your important information remains always readable. Even though it has been around for over 50 years we believe many are missing out because they really don't understand how it can be used and how good it is. I will try to explain the advantages in simple terms.



Many years ago in a far away place while I attended Iowa Park High School I was on the annual staff as a photograper. (It was a great way to make sure you got your "girlfriend" in the book!) The metalphoto process works the same way we developed pictures back then. You take a "negative" and you expose it on photgraphic paper (or in this case special aluminum), then you move it a developer solution, and then to a fixer that stops the developement. The final part of the process involves the step where we seal the metalphoto in a solution that leaves a glass-clear, sapphire-hard anodized layer that resists chemicals, paint, abrasion and dirt.

Reason #1 why to use Metalphoto instead of chemical etch.

IT'S CHEAPER! We just quoted a company on 500 tags in both the Metalphoto and also in chemical etch. The chemical etch was 37% MORE EXPENSIVE than the Metalphoto. Both processes were using the same dimensions of 2-1/2" x 6" and both were in .031 thickness, the only difference was the process and the base material. The chemical etch was in stainless steel and the Metalphoto was in aluminum.

Reason #2 why to choose Metalphoto

IT'S EXCEPTIONALLY DURABLE! The UV-stable image is permanently sealed within the anodized aluminum. making it virtually impervious to chemicals, heat, abrasion,salt spray and sunlight. Metalphoto is certified for 20+ years for outdoor application. Check out how it scored here:



Okay, you might be asking, How do I attach it to my product? It can be drilled so you can rivet, screw, or bolt it on. It can come with an adhesive back where you peel the protective layer and stick it on. We'll even send you a free sample that you can even use, just ask us.


It's time to say good bye for now. I hope you understand a little more about the Metalphoto process. Next time I'll introduce you to Greg Smotek, the head of our anodizing department and let you discover why we should be doing your anodizing. Until then, make them wonder why you are smiling.