Etched Metal Plaques and Signs: Are There Better Alternatives?

 Etched Metal Plates

One of the types of metal plates that people use for many different reasons is etched metal. These can be made into many different kinds of things, like plaques, brand tags, signs, and even decorative plates. Etched metal plaques and signs are often ordered by companies when they need these to carry highly detailed and intricate designs.

There are some times however when etching is not the right marking method to use for some plaques and signs that you need to have made. This may be due to some features that cannot be added in with the use of etching, or because some of the details on these plates need to be crafted some other way and etching does not facilitate such an addition. This is why there are alternative marking methods that you can use to create your metal plaques and signs.

What are these other choices? Here are some of them:

Engraving – this is one of the marking methods that is often chosen when etching is not ideal for what is required. This marking method allows for a similar effect and appearance as etching, but with a little difference – there are some features that can be added in that you cannot add with etching. This is particularly ideal when you need to add ADA compliant features to what you are having made.

The most common addition to a sign or plaque that engraving can add which etching cannot do properly is the braille translation. Since there is a rule that states that in order for a sign to be ADA compliant, you will need your braille dots to be raised a specific height, be a specific width, and have a domed top. Etching cannot do this, but engraving can, with the help of what is called the rastering method.

With the rastering method, the precise holes that are made into the metal signs are then filled with beads, which give the braille translation the right domed shape, as well as the right height and diameter for compliance.

Embossing – there are also some signs and plaques that will work well with embossing, or more specifically, debossing. This method creates recessed instead of raised impressions on the metal, and this usually creates very durable as well as very smooth designs on the plates. The debossing method is used by those who want rounded and very smooth edges to the designs on their metal plates, as opposed to the sharp edges that you get with engraved and etched plates.

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