What Exactly are Photosensitive Plates?

BY Rowena Taylor

Photosensitive Plate

You’ve probably heard the term “photosensitive plates” before and wondered what exactly these plates are. You may have also seen these plates being used by a number of businesses and individuals and asked yourself how these are made. You might have also wondered if there are other uses for these metal nameplates.

To help you understand what these metal nameplates are, let us first look at how these are made and what photosensitivity, as well as photosensitizing, is. For starters, when used to describe metals, photosensitivity is the quality a metal has that makes it react to visible light in such a way that it creates images on the metal’s surface. This particular quality is used by many manufacturers to create nametags, nameplates, portraits on metals and many more.

To create photosensitive metals, a process called photosensitizing is used. This particular procedure makes a metal sensitive to visible light or radiant energy, making it useful for the many applications that photosensitive nameplates are ideal for. These plates are sometimes called metal photo plates for the simple reason that the images on these are produced the same way printed photos are produced (in the old fashioned way). This is by exposing the parts that are sensitive to light to this radiant energy, which then results in the images appearing on the item in question.

More often than not, the images that are created on these plates are in the color black, and the material that is most often used for this is aluminum. You should know however that color can be incorporated into these metal nameplates, but these colored images on these plates are less durable than those that are colored black. This does not discourage people from incorporating some color into their photosensitive plates though, even when the use of these outdoors can be rather short or these have to be relegated to indoor use only.

These plates can be used almost anywhere, depending on a number of factors that include whether the prints are in black or are colored, what is printed on these plates, what the primary use of these plates are, and many more. You will find that photosensitive printing is used for many things, some of which include dog tags, plaques, portraits, signs and even label tags. This essentially means that photosensitive plates can really be used anywhere.

The metal that is used for the creation of these plates is usually anodized aluminum, making these plates ideal for use in many conditions. This is because aluminum is a very resilient metal that is resistant to rust, and tarnish. It can also withstand exposure to chemicals, UV rays, and harsh conditions that include inclement weather, grease, grime and dirt exposure.

Since the method used to create the images on these photosensitive plates results in very durable ones, these are often used for applications where nameplates with messages and images that won’t fade or deteriorate fast are needed. Examples of such applications include warning and instructional plates, schematics, branding labels, and even model and serial plates. To find out where else these very durable metal nameplates can be used, you should ask your favorite nameplate manufacturer and ask what your options are for these.

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