How Photosensitive Plates are Made to Last

Photosensitive Plates

Why are photosensitive plates durable enough to last years of exposure to the elements? How are these plates manufactured and what makes these highly resilient? Is there a special process that is used to create these very durable plates?

Photosensitive plates are chosen by people for many uses due to its inherent toughness. Plates that are marked using this particular process are known to last years without the need for replacement and can survive weather extremes and exposure to UV rays. These may be the reasons why such a marking process is used for manufacturing plates that are made for military use and for many industrial purposes.

What makes these metal plates impervious to damage usually brought about by exposure to sunlight and the weather is due to the marking process that is used. Called photosensitizing, this particular process is usually used on aluminum and is considered one of the more durable methods of marking such a metal. This marking method is also considered a cost effective way of producing durable metal plates that not only last for a long time, but are also quick to manufacture.

Anodized Aluminum

Photosensitive plates are usually made with anodized aluminum, with the anodic layer protecting the print that is imbedded in the aluminum plate. These plates are manufactured two ways, with one ideal for use only when black images are needed and the other method used when colors are required by a client for their plates. The process that creates black images is the one chosen by those who require highly durable plates to be made.

Type 1 photosensitive plates made with aluminum are made with the help of a silver compound that is impregnated into the metal. Once anodized, the black image that is developed when the plate is exposed to a light source is protected from any possible damage. This particular plate is used for Barcodes and UID plates, warning and instructional plates and even outdoor signage.

Type 2 photosensitive plates are also made with anodized aluminum but use a different manufacturing method to create the colorful prints and messages on it. These designs can be made using dyes, etchants or bleach. Since the dyes or colors used on these plates may not be as resilient as the silver compound used to create the black markings on type 1 photosensitive plates, these kinds of products are usually manufactured for indoor use only.