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Different Types of Metal Nameplates and Their Uses

metal nameplate

Whether you are aware of it or not, metal nameplates play a significant role in a number of industries. You most likely encounter these nameplates fairly often in your daily life. But, have you ever stopped to consider the materials and details that accompany their production?

Well, as experts in the metal nameplate industry, we are here to break it down for you.

In order to determine how to get the best use of your metal nameplate, it will depend on the material of the nameplate, the product it will be placed with, and the environment. Some nameplate materials are chosen for practical uses, while others are more for aesthetic purposes.

So, let’s dive right in.

Popular Metal Nameplate Options

There are many different kinds of materials that can be used for nameplates, such as metal, plastic, polyester, vinyl, paper stock, and more. For the sake of this article, we are going to discuss the different types of metal nameplates.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel can be used for cookware and kitchen utensils, but it is also commonly used in military place cards, control panels, and designation plates. It is strong, durable, and known for its long-lasting, tarnish, and rust-proof material. These characteristics are what set stainless steel apart from other metal nameplate options.

Some of the main classifications of stainless steel are austenitic, ferritic, and martensitic.


Austenitic stainless steel is the most commonly used alloy, and it is a part of the 200 and 300 series number. Typically, it is composed of nickel and chromium. This type of stainless steel is perfect for welding and is corrosion-resistant.


Ferritic stainless steel is an alloy with low nickel content, which makes it one of the more affordable types of stainless steel. It is most popular for indoor environments where aesthetic appeal is not as pertinent. Ferritic stainless steel is also corrosion-resistant and great for welding, and it falls in the 400 series.


Martensitic stainless steel is less common and can be moderately resistant to corrosion. Similar to ferritic steel, it belongs to the 400 series grade and remains magnetic after annealing. This type of steel is often used in medical applications.


Aluminum is a very popular metal nameplate option because it is highly versatile, durable, and lightweight. Since it is non-ferrous and can be combined with metals like zinc and copper, these alloys are ideal for industrial use because they can withstand harsh environments and heavy use.

It can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications and has a hard, attractive finish. Equipment asset tags are commonly composed of aluminum.

The different series of aluminum alloys have different recommended applications. For example, the 2,000 series is created to satisfy aerospace requirements, while the 5,000 series is often used for marine applications.

Aluminum Finishes

There are a few different types of aluminum finishes for metal nameplates, including anodized (sealed) aluminum, unsealed aluminum, and photosensitive aluminum.

Anodized aluminum is lightweight, durable, and can be customized with colors and designs. These are typically used for instructional tags, serial numbers and corporate identity tags, scales, dials, templates, and rating plates.

Unsealed aluminum, also known as undyed aluminum, is a porous finish that is designed to conform to military requirements and other specifications.

Photosensitive aluminum finishes are used to create metal nameplates with high-resolution images that are durable and applicable for both indoor and outdoor use.


As an alloy constructed from copper and zinc, brass is also resistant to corrosion. Due to its red and gold hue, brass is often used for aesthetic purposes. For this reason, it is considered a type of red metal alloy.

In comparison to the alternative – classic gold nameplates – brass nameplates are more affordable and maintain the same decorative quality.

Since brass is a non-sparking material, it is commonly used for applications where sparking is a concern. Plumbing and electrical applications often employ brass materials.


Like brass, bronze is also a red metal that is commonly used for decorative purposes. If you are looking for a nameplate with a more reddish hue, then bronze is the perfect choice.

This alloy is tarnish and rustproof, and it is composed of copper mixed with tin. Plus, it is resistant to saltwater corrosion, which makes it the ideal nameplate choice for seaside environments.

Some important characteristics of bronze to note relate to its density and malleability. Moreover, bronze is commonly used for custom bronze plaques, badges, and signs.

How High-Quality Metal Nameplates Are Created

Since there is a wide range of metals, finishes, thicknesses, etc., it is important to find the perfect process for your nameplate fabrication. In order to create high-quality metal nameplates out of the materials mentioned above, you need machinery that combines intricacy with efficiency.

The IPG Photonics LaserCube is a state-of-the-art fiber laser that creates intricate custom designs at a much faster pace. This is the ideal machine for manufacturing parts in industries like military, food service, aerospace, medical service, marine, and agriculture.

Get the Best Quality Metal Nameplates With Hallmark Nameplates

At Hallmark Nameplate, we know how important it is for our customers to receive the best products that perfectly fit their customizations and requirements. That’s why we have been trusted manufacturers of nameplates for more than 60 years. We ensure that all of our products are created with high-quality designs and materials.

The designs on our custom metal nameplates are created by cutting-edge tag fabrication technology, such as the IPG Photonics LaserCube. With this fiber laser technology, we are able to custom fabricate even the most intricate designs. It has an average power of 2 kW and a maximum peak power of 4 kW. Therefore, we have the ability to expand the thickness of our metal fabrication.

Our custom metal nameplates are made to order to fit your specifications and requirements. However, we understand that the process and choices can be overwhelming. So, we will help you through it by providing our expert advice for your metal nameplate. We even offer a product sample box so you can get a look and feel of your nameplate!

So, let us help create the design you are looking for. Request a quote today!

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