Durable Labels: What You Really, Really Want

November 15, 2019
Durable Metal Asset Tags

You’re looking for durable labels? Honestly, now, most of the asset labels used these days for inventory and tracking have a whole lot more durability than they’ve had in the past. Most have some sort of coating to protect the text from bleeding off and some sort of adhesive to keep them stuck, for the moment, to whatever they are identifying. But, honestly, many ultimately have problems with readability, adhesion, and deterioration of other sorts. So what you’re looking for is a really, really good label that will stand the test of time. You want a label that does not have to be replaced even when the product to which it is attached has passed out of usefulness.

Metalcraft durable labels live up to that expectation in all three areas of its product line: metal, plastic, and RFID.

Durable Labels - Metal Nameplates

While increasing resistance to corrosion and wear, the durable nameplate label made of rigid anodized aluminum has a sapphire-hard, clear surface. It provides better adhesion for glues than does bare metal. The thick porous anodized surface coating absorbs dyes well too.  For maximum detail, a digital photographic black image using metallic silver particles for “ink” are sealed into the anodic layer. Such clarity, makes barcodes, numbering, and other information easy to scan or humanly read without dealing with bleeding text.  Additional screen-printed colors can also be added to the anodic surface and secured with a matte topcoat. With UV defend technology, durable labels placed in direct sunlight or subjected to other harsh conditions can be viable for more than twenty years.

Although anodizing adds a bit to the thickness, the standard thickness of the Metalcraft nameplate label is .008" thick, but thicknesses of .012", .032", and .063" are available. The thickness of anodized aluminum has some bearing on the hardness of the surface, but any one of the thicknesses can take a beating. A 0035" thick, pressure-sensitive adherent rests on the aluminum layer in the construction of the most durable nameplate labels. This adhesive, which varies in type from need to need, always has a very high peel strength and also has excellent resistance to heat and chemicals in the atmosphere for which the nameplate is designed: mild, moderate, or extreme. However, a special high-temperature durable label is made with attachment holes, not adhesive, for applications where temperatures will range from 900F to 1200F. Because of the material from which the durable label is made and the level of its bond, the nameplate can resist extreme abrasion without being destroyed or torn off. The nameplate and the adhesive can, also, resist destruction from most industrial solvents within reasonable exposure times.

In addition to their standard metal nameplate, Metalcraft has related metal products with similar properties that include its custom Autographs line and its line of anodized Metalphoto foil bar code labels.

Where & When To Use Durable Metal Labels

So, as with all labeling products, where and when might you use durable nameplate labels?

In terms of when to use a metal nameplates, check out our infographic on When to Use Metal Assets Tags, as for the where, let your needs and your imagination be your guide.

That’s what Brandon Willard did when he had an idea for Monumark, a product to keep family relationships intact even beyond the grave. Using QR codes and durable nameplate labels, his company was able to connect a final resting place with the story of the person buried. But to launch his company, he needed something inexpensive to attach to a marble or granite tombstone. That something needed to carry a QR code and be long lasting. Since etching a QR code into stone was too expensive, he found his answer in a Metalcraft durable nameplate label.

Monumark Grave

Made to order, the durable label could withstand the elements and the QR code, still clear, would be readable by a smartphone or another device for years to come. Additionally, because of the adhesive, it would be very difficult to remove the durable label from a grave by vandals or outdoor weathering breakdown.  But the grave site visitor could actually make a connection with the deceased for a figure quite a bit less than $100.

Willard found a really, really good durable label at Metalcraft. Not all durable labels can perform to the standards he required, but Metalcraft’s durable nameplate labels did. In fact, they may indeed outlast some of the structures to which they are attached.

Metalcraft durable nameplate labels are sent out in many different forms, but primarily on a rectangular liner. And, although you never could humanly destroy the label in removing it from the backing, we know that removal can be frustrating, especially  when lots of labeling is to be done. So now, we’ve added a tab to the durable label for help in placing the label on your asset. And, in fact, we’re so proud of the addition, we’ve created a video to brag about its benefits and to understand its use.

Julia Deets, VP of Marketing and Customer Experience

About the Author: Julia Deets

Julia Deets joined Metalcraft in 1999 as the Marketing/New Product Director. Julia has held numerous roles during her career with Metalcraft, all related to marketing and customer support. Her current position is as the VP of Marketing and Customer Experience. She has both an undergrad and a Master's degree in Organizational Communications from Northwest Missouri State University and the University of Northern Iowa, respectively. 


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