Understanding Metalphoto
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Published on June 09, 2022

As STRYKER’s most durable product, Metalphoto, which is also specified as photosensitive anodized aluminum, has been our core product since 1960. Metalphoto® is used to make durable, high-resolution nameplates, labels and control panels. Our unique photographic imaging process creates ultraviolet-stable, high-resolution graphics, photos and information that is sealed inside of the anodized aluminum.

Metalphoto has been trusted by leading OEMs, military and government organizations for applications that require one or more of Metalphoto’s unique combination of features, including:

Durable construction

Metalphoto’s silver-halide based image is sealed inside of anodized aluminum, making it virtually impervious and readable after prolonged exposure to harsh operating conditions including weather/sunlight, heat, abrasion, chemicals and salt spray. Metalphoto is certified for 20-plus years of outdoor application and has earned more top scores than any other IUID barcode label material tested by the U.S. Navy.

Variable information capability

Metalphoto labels and nameplates support item-unique serialize data, one-of-a-kind instructions or barcodes of any symbology that reduce data entry errors and speed asset tracking.

Photographic resolution

Metalphoto’s high image resolution makes it possible to mark small items or surfaces and provides the option of security printing features such as micro-text and watermarks.

Proven performance

Metalphoto has proven itself again and again to major OEMs and government organizations. As a result, most major government, industrial and military organizations specify Metalphoto.

Widely specified

Metalphoto meets a wide array of commercial, government and military specifications, such as:

  • A-A-50271
  • AAMI/CDV-1 ST79:2010/A2.06
  • FDA Amendments Act of 2007
  • GGP-455B(3) Type I
  • MIL-A-8625F
  • MIL-DTL-15024F
  • MIL-DTL-19834C
  • MIL-P-19834B
  • MIL-P-6906B
  • MIL-STD-130N
  • SAE-AMS-QQ-A-250/1
  • STANAG 2290
  • UL/REACH/RoHS Certified

Properties of Metalphoto Photosensitive Anodized Aluminum

Metalphoto is used in many industries and applications. There are multiple characteristics and properties that make Metalphoto a preferred material:

  • Ultraviolet-stable
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Temperature-resistant
  • Fluid-resistant
  • Recyclable

Metalphoto Applications

  • Warning labels
  • Outdoor equipment labels
  • Memorial plaques
  • Military equipment tags
  • Lawn and snow equipment labels
  • Military sea vessel labeling
  • Aviation and aircraft labels

Performance Characteristics of Metalphoto

Metalphoto anodized aluminum meets an array of government, industrial and military specifications because of its ability to perform across a range of challenging environments.

Characteristics Result
Abrasion Resistance No pronounced image loss, degradation or reduced readability after 7,000 cycles on an abrading wheel.
Acid Corrosion No deterioration or image degradation after 24 hours in 3% nitric acid.
Heat Resistance No legibility loss or degradation when subjected to 1,000°F.
Salt Spray Corrosion No deleterious effect after a 720-hr salt spray (fog) test. 2,6 “Very Good” corrosion resistance after 113 days of seawater exposure.
Accelerated Light and Weather Resistance No pronounced deterioration of legibility after 400-hr carbon arc weatherometer exposure (≈ 20+ year outdoor life).
Accelerated Oxygen Aging No discoloration or fading after 96-hr/300psi/70°C oxygen bomb aging.
Stain Resistance No black fading when plates are exposed to tincture of iodine.
Cleaning Resistance No deleterious effects when tested with alkaline cleaners (MILC-87937 or equivalent) for aircraft surfaces.
Low Temperature Resistance No deleterious effect or image fade after 1 hour at -50°F. No impairment of legibility upon exposure at -67°F.
Organic Solvent Resistance

No softening, staining or noticeable fade after 24-hr exposure to:

JP-4 fuel, Gasoline, Mineral Spirits, Methyl Ethyl Ketone, Turpentine, Turbine and Jet Fuel, Kerosene, Xylol, Acetone, Toluol, Heptane, Trichlorethylene, MIL-H-5606 Hydraulic Fluid and MIL-L-7808 Jet Engine Oil

Fungus Resistance Visual reading of “0” per ASTM-G21.
Thermal Shock No deterioration after 3 cycles between -65°C and 125°C.
Moisture Resistance No deterioration after 10 humidity cycles per MIL-STD-202, method 106.

Technical Specifications

STRYKER offers Metalphoto with the following technical specifications:

Material: Anodized aluminum sheets

Sizes: 10” x 12”, 12” x 20”, 20” x 24”, 20” x 40”, 24” x 40”

Thicknesses: .003”, .005”, .008”, .012”, .020”, .032”, .039”, .063”, .090”, .125”


  • Matte (non-reflective with dull finish)
  • Satin (semi-gloss medium reflective material)
  • #4 (brushed to resemble a stainless steel finish)
  • Gloss (highly reflective, mirror-like)

Looking for a custom Metalphoto photosensitive anodized aluminum product? We would be honored to help meet your needs while keeping quality top of mind. STRYKER holds decades of experience in manufacturing with extreme precision and specifications. We are also the only Certified Metalphoto Converter in the state of Wisconsin.

STRYKER is a third-generation, woman-owned small business that specializes in industrial nameplates and durable customized workwear with in-house screen printing and embroidery services. Our ISO 9001:2015 certification proves we are serious about quality and consistently strive to provide products that meet customer and regulatory requirements along with unmatched customer service. Visit the STRYKER showroom, get a quote or call 920-731-9105 to get started on your project today.