Durable Identification for Defense Applications

For over 60 years, engineers have trusted Metalphoto® photosensitive anodized aluminum for extremely durable equipment and process identification items installed in demanding operating environments.

The United States Navy adopted Metalphoto in 1958 for shipboard labels, placards and damage control signs. Since then, Metalphoto has been incorporated into several major Army weapons systems including the Abrams Tank, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the HMMWV. Both Marine Corps and Army Depots operate Metalphoto production facilities. All Departments utilize Metalphoto for Item Unique Identification (IUID) barcode labels as specified under MIL-STD-130.




Durable Construction Variable Information Capability Photographic Resolution Image Proven Performance
Durable Construction Variable Information Photographic Resolution Proven Performance


Component ID/Barcode Labels Equipment Nameplates Procedure/Maintenance ID Operator Control Panels


Metalphoto Labels Earn More Top Scores on U.S. Navy Environmental Survivability Test than Any Other Label Material Evaluated

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Benefits of Using Metalphoto:

Because label longevity is critical to IUID, the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Corona Division conducted a study to determine the best available label materials.  Results showed that Metalphoto® photosensitive anodized aluminum earned more high scores than any other label material evaluated. The study was commissioned to provide an unbiased, government-sponsored comparison of label materials. A total of 73 label materials were submitted across both study phases. The labels were subjected to 38 laboratory tests designed to simulate desert, marine and submarine operating environments, including weather, impact, abrasion, chemical exposure, high-temperatures and salt-water corrosion.

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Proven Durability:

Not only does Metalphoto have the highest proven scores for durability, Metalphoto can be configured into an assortment of customized label systems to address variety of surface energies and overall applications that can survive a variety of military and industrial applications.  Overall Metalphoto earned the highest possible score on 32 of 33 tests for which it was evaluated – more top scores than any other material. For more information about the study, download the synopsis here.