Photosensitive Plates: The Science Behind the Durability of these Nameplates

Photosensitive Plates

It is a known fact that photosensitive plates are chosen by those who want a durable plate for their nameplate needs. The question is though, why are these plates durable? What makes this printing method create durable prints that lasts for years that can survive varying climes and harsh conditions?

Photosensitive plates are created with the use of a marking method that is similar to photography. There are two methods used to create photosensitive nameplates, both of which use anodized aluminum. There is a reason why anodized aluminum is used for these plates, and is also one of the reasons why the resulting print on these plates last virtually a lifetime.

The first method of printing that is used for these metal nameplates involves the use of a silver compound. When this compound is exposed to a light source, the required image on the plate is formed. To seal the marking on these plates, it is lowered into boiling water, which hydrates the aluminum oxide and traps the print under an anodic layer.

The second method uses a photo resist coating. This is used for those plates that require color printing and not just black. This process also ends in the plate being sealed just like the first method, but it should be noted that colored photosensitive plates are not as durable as those that have black prints on them.

 The reason why photosensitive plates are very durable, and have prints that are reputed to last a lifetime, is because of the fact that the print is sealed into the metal by the anodized layer. This layer is hard and clear, can resist abrasions and chemicals, and can withstand weather changes effectively. The combination of aluminum, the anodized layer and the metallic silver used to create the print (which is also impervious to heat and exposure to sunlight) is what makes photosensitive plates the durable and long lasting plates that they are known to be.

*Image courtesy of Wikipedia