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Metal Tags: The difference between Aluma-Tough & Stainless Steel

Posted on 08/23/2019

What is the difference between Aluma-Tough Sealed Anodized Aluminum & Stainless Steel Tags?

Looking for industrial metal tags? has a variety of tags to choose from. The hard part is finding the right material tag for your specific needs.

2 industrial-grade metal tag products that we sell are:

  1. Stainless Steel Metal Tags
  2. Aluma-tough, Sealed Anodized Aluminum Tags

Both metal tags are extremely durable, and can withstand harsh environments.

Stainless Steel Metal Tags


Naptags sells 304 and 316 stainless steel tags. 316 stainless steel contains molybdenum in it to help resist corrosion like sea salt water. So if you are specified to use stainless steel for your tag application and it needs to resist harsh chemicals, we suggest using the 316 stainless steel.

The stainless steel metal tags that NapTags offers come in .022”, .030”, and .050” thicknesses. These all can be laser cut and laser engraved to any custom shape and size. We are also able to laser engrave on 1/8” thick stainless steel.


If you have specifications requiring you to use stainless steel, then this is a good route to go for ordering valve tags, asset tags, equipment tags, or any ID tag that is exposed to harsh environments. Nap Tags stainless steel tags are engraved with a laser that will not fade or deteriorate over time.

Click Here to order our Stainless Steel Metal Tags.

A lot of people think that stainless steel is the most durable material to use for metal tags, but Aluma-tough is actually more durable then stainless steel in many cases.

Aluma-Tough Sealed, Anodized Aluminum Tags


For over 50 years, industrial and military engineers have specified Metalphoto (AlumaTough) photosensitive anodized aluminum for durable nameplates, barcode labels, service schematics and control panels installed in harsh operating environments. Their proprietary technology permanently seals a UV-stable image inside of anodized aluminum, offering the confidence of unparalleled durability, image resolution and readability.

Aluma-tough is sealed with an anodizing solution, which creates a UV-stable image. It is impenetrable, deflecting chemicals, heat, abrasion, salt spray, and sunlight. It is certified for 20+ years in an outdoor application. This product has earned more top scores than any other barcode label material tested by the U.S. Navy. These metal tags meet a wide array of commercial, government, and military specs.


.020” - .063” Aluma-tough can be cnc-cut with beautiful clean edges. Thinner material is available as well. Thinner material is .012” thick (cannot be cnc cut) will have adhesive backing and is great for wrapping around curved surfaces. A lot of people use the thinner material for barcode labels because of the clarity of printing, capability to wrap around poles, and durability of the material.



Aluma-Tough material typically cost 10-20% less than stainless steel and is just as, if not more durable then the stainless steel. If you do not have specifications that strictly use stainless steel, then this is your best material to use.

Click Here to order Aluma-Tough tags, nameplates and ID labels.

Or visit our AlumaTough website to learn more about them!

Have questions on what industrial metal tag is best for your specific requirements?

NapTags has expert sales representatives that will guide you to find the best metal tag for your application. Feel free to email us at or call 1-800-451-3330.