How to Distinguish Metal Parts

Whether for internal or external use, a system of identification is highly useful for distinguishing like parts. Establishing and adhering to such a system enables you to quickly and easily organize metal parts, but you must ensure that your method is useful under different conditions. Printed sticker labels or tags, for example, can wear off over time especially when exposed to moisture. A process like laser marking, on the other hand, is a permanent solution.

Laser Marking Benefits

Laser marking is a process commonly used to permanently brand metal parts, giving them ingrained, identifying marks. The size and complexity of these marks varies depending on the laser marking machine used—some machines are able to produce custom and highly complex designs. This means that you can use the process to brand your metal parts with a company logo, part ID number, or even a barcode that can be scanned to identify each part, ensuring that there are no mix-ups between similar pieces.

Titanium Anodizing Benefits

While laser marking can be performed on a variety of metals that includes stainless steel and titanium, titanium anodizing is another method of permanently treating your parts—and as the name implies, it's exclusive to titanium alloys.

Though only applicable to one type of metal, titanium anodizing remains a popular choice for creating a system of identifying similar parts. This oxidation process imbues titanium parts with a natural, vibrantly colored finish, so you can distinguish metal parts at a glance no matter how similar they are structurally.

While the type of identification system you choose for your own parts depends on your needs and their construction, both laser marking and titanium anodizing have their own unique benefits that can make separation and organization faster and easier.