When you decide on a nameplate, you need to consider lots of factors, from size to shape to even how it’s marked. While there are multiple options to choose from, etching and engraved nameplates are two of the most popular. There are similarities between the two, but the processes are different, so it’s important to know how each type of nameplate is made before making a choice.
At American Nameplate, we work hard to help you know when to select an etched or engraved nameplate. Plus, we have a dedicated customer service team available to answer all your questions about your custom nameplate.
Etched vs. Engraved Nameplates
When you need to choose an etched or engraved nameplate, knowing the process and differences involved can influence your decision. The etching process starts by creating an artwork film based on the approved proof for your metal nameplate. Then, we carefully shoot in our film room onto a silk screen using vacuums and UV light to burn the film into our industrial mesh screen. American Nameplate uses a specific emulsion compound to block parts of the copy intended to be left natural, while the rest of the nameplate design gets exposed.
Next, we prep the plate to dip into our acid tanks for the etching process. While it’s submerged, the acid will wear away exposed sections of metal, which burns the design right into the metal’s surface and gives you an etched look. Once we review your nameplate for the correct copy, we can finish it with different fabrication options or send it back to production to be filled with a color of your choice.
On the other hand, engraved nameplates uses a rotary engraver that cuts a cavity through the nameplate’s surface that creates an image or writing noticeable both at eye level and to the touch. With laser engraving, this high heat laser will vaporize the material’s surface with each pulse. If you want your nameplate to have deeper marks, the process gets repeated until the product is how you want.
When to Select Etched and Engraved Nameplates
An etched nameplate is great for products that need specific safety information or directional instructions on them, such as fire doors, aircraft, submarines, weapons and military vehicles. Etching is also appropriate for industrial companies who want to mark their products with certain information, including:
- Model numbers
- Manufacturing dates
- Serial numbers
One of the differences between etched and engraved nameplates is that an engraved nameplate is more precise. This is an excellent option if you want to personalize your particular nameplate. The most common materials used for engraving include:
Choosing American Nameplate
American Nameplate is one of Chicago’s premier nameplate manufacturer. Whenever you need to pick an etched or engraved nameplate, we can help you decide which option is best and work with you to create a custom product that’s perfect for your industry.
Throwback Thursday to when American Nameplate was associated with “American Dial”.
Designing beautiful metal work has always been our art and trade.
Take a look at this article from ‘Watch & Clock Review’ (March 1991, Vol 58, No.1)