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Anodizing

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Anodizing is an electrochemical process that provides a durable and corrosion-resistant anodic oxide finish to a metal surface. Although other nonferrous metals, such as magnesium and titanium, can also be anodized, aluminum is best suited for the process. The aluminum substrate serves as the source of the anodic oxide structure, which is composed entirely of aluminum oxide. Read More…

Anodizing Anodizing is a technique used to change the exterior of a metal. A change in the surface topography and crystal structure may occur, as well as an increase in corrosion resistance when anodizing. The process of anodizing is often used to protect titanium and aluminum from abrasion and corrosion. It also allows metals to be dyed in various colors.
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Leading Manufacturers

Green Bay, WI  |  920-857-9701

Green Bay Anodizing has grown into an award-winning metal finishing service since our humble beginning in 2007. We offer finishing options like Optical black, salt spray tests, chromate conversion, sulfuric anodizing, hard coat anodizing, and even blasting services for your aluminum projects. We are known throughout the industry for our exemplary customer service and rapid turnaround times.

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Green Bay Anodizing $$$

Columbus, OH  |  614-252-0078

Mills Metal Finishing is run by professional experts in all things metal. This includes metal plating, coating, and even finishing services around the Columbus area. With over 30 years of experience, our experts are dedicated to providing the highest standards in the industry. So whether it's electroless nickel plating or aluminum anodizing, you can rely on us to provide you with the highest quality product at competitive prices.

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Mills Metal Finishing Inc. $$$

Green Bay, WI  |  877-721-1100

Pioneer offers many custom finishing solutions to make your products perform at the highest levels. We are experts in providing specialized finishes to improve the performance for your specific component parts. Whether your product design requirements include finishes to make your product resist corrosion, last longer, look better, slide more freely, bond securely to another material, or many other performance attributes, Pioneer has you covered. Call us today for more information!

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Pioneer Metal Finishing Corporation $$$

Chatham, ON, Chavies, KY  |  877-556-9191

Dajcor Aluminum is the leading Canadian supplier of extruded, fabricated/machined and anodized components and assemblies to the automotive, renewable energy, transportation, building trades, military, recreation, and consumer-product industries.

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Dajcor Aluminum Ltd. $$$
placeholder image Green Bay Anodizing Mills Metal Finishing Inc. Pioneer Metal Finishing Corporation Dajcor Aluminum Ltd.

Rather than being applied to the surface like paint or plating, this aluminum oxide is integrated within the underlying metal substrate itself, making it resistant to chipping and peeling. Anodized aluminum’s well-organized porous structure enables further procedures like coloring and sealing.

The Anodizing Process

Aluminum is anodized by dipping it into an acid electrolyte tank and then running an electric current through it. The anodizing tank has a cathode mounted inside of it; aluminum serves as the anode, causing oxygen ions to be released from the electrolyte and become combined with atoms on the surface of the component (in this case, aluminum) being anodized. Therefore, anodizing is the amplification of a naturally-occurring phenomenon by carefully regulated oxidation.

Anodizing

The Various Anodizing Processes

  • Surface Coating
  • Integral Coloring
  • Organic Dyeing
  • Inorganic Dyeing
  • Electrolytic Coloring

Surface Coating

The process of enhancing the naturally-occurring oxide layer that forms on the surface of aluminum when it comes into contact with oxygen is known as electrochemical surface treatment (surface coating), or anodizing. Through this process, the electrical current increases the oxide layer, making the surface of the aluminum more durable.

Surface-Coated Aluminum

Working Method:

  • Pretreatment - One of the crucial processes in the surface modification of aluminum is surface pre-treatment. Three steps are involved in the pre-treatment of aluminum surfaces: cleaning (polishing and degreasing), chemical etching (alkaline and acid), and conversion coating (ie: zincate treatment).
  • Grounding (chromatizing) - Chromate coating, often known as "chromating," is a corrosion-resistant conversion coating applied to aluminum and aluminum alloys. The standard procedure is to first clean the aluminum surface before applying an acidic chromium composition to it.
  • Color coating - The primer application step and the finish coating application stage are both parts of the coil-coating process. The aluminum sheet goes through a roller coater machine in the first stage, which coats the sheet with priming paint on either one or both sides. The sheet is passed through a second roller coater machine after curing and drying, which applies the finish coating to both sides or one side.
  • Curing of lacquer coat - To ensure that all possible flaws are eliminated and the paint is completely cured, the strip is placed back into the oven and heated to the proper temperature. The fundamental way to guarantee the desired coating quality is to utilize the correct curing temperature, which ranges from 200° to 3,000°C (392° to 5,432°F) depending on the paint system. Additionally, the solvent vapor is burned off at this point and used to heat the ovens in order to save the environment and keep costs down.
  • Integral Coloring

    Integral color just means that both coloring and anodizing happen in one process. In two-step anodizing, the aluminum is electrolytically coated with tin salts after being anodized in sulfuric acid first. Using the integral coloring process, the metallic character of the aluminum is retained.

    Organic Dyeing

    The metallic quality of aluminum is preserved by organic dyes and they help create a high degree of brilliance in the aluminum. The actual coloring of the aluminum oxide coating is a pretty easy operation. The dyebath is composed of a water solution containing between 0.025 and 1.090 dyestuff at a temperature of 150°F. The previously anodized aluminum is merely submerged for a brief period of time in this bath, typically 10 minutes.

    Inorganic Dyeing

    With inorganic dyeing, the anodic film is a little duller than with organic dyeing, especially in gold tones, yet the metallic quality is retained.

    Electrolytic Coloring

    When anodizing aluminum, the cathode is either metal or graphite, while the anode is the aluminum workpiece. Depending on the salt solution and the AC voltage used during electrolysis, the oxide or hydroxide that precipitates within the pores gives the film colors like brown, bronze, blue, yellowish gray, or black. Aluminum's metallic nature, however, is kept.

    Electrolytic Coloring and Organinc Coloring

    The Environmental Benefits of Anodizing Aluminum

    • The benefits of aluminum for the environment should be well known. As one of the strongest, yet lightweight, metals, aluminum promotes better fuel efficiency in the planes, boats, and automobiles where it is utilized.
    • Unlike other materials, aluminum is already readily recycled. Approximately one-third of all aluminum produced in the United States today comes from recycled materials, according to the Aluminum Association, saving nearly 95% of the energy needed to make aluminum from raw materials.
    • In terms of its effects on the environment, anodized aluminum is a "naturally green" substance. Aluminum's material advantages are enhanced by anodizing and this procedure is reasonably benign when compared to the processing of other materials and technologies.
    • After undergoing the anodizing process, the resulting aluminum product is tougher and has a longer lifespan so that it will not need to be replaced as regularly of similar products made from other materials.
    • Additionally, the anodizing process promotes lubricity and decreases friction, which is advantageous for the various parts and components that are made from anodized aluminum. These qualities promote increased wear resistance and longer life cycles for the machines and equipment in which they are utilized which, ultimately, leads to less waste or less energy consumption required to recycle materials.

    Benefits of Anodizing Aluminum

    • Durability: The anodizing process prolongs the life and toughness of aluminum. The majority of anodized products have extraordinarily long lifespans and provide significant financial benefits due to the maintenance and operating cost savings associated with its durability. Items made of anodized aluminum last longer and require replacement or maintenance less often.
    • Stability of color: Exterior anodic coatings are easy to match and repeat, offer good stability to ultraviolet light, and don't chip or peel.
    • Maintenance is simple: There are hardly any scars or wear from fabrication, handling, installation, routine surface dirt cleaning, or use. An anodized surface may typically be cleaned with mild soap and water or rinsed to bring back its original appearance. For harder deposits, mild abrasive cleansers can be used.
    • Aesthetics: Anodizing decreases or completely removes color inconsistencies while providing a vast array of gloss and color options. Anodizing, as opposed to other finishes, enables aluminum to keep its metallic appearance.
    • Cost: Greater long-term value is produced through lower original finishing costs combined with lower maintenance expenditures.
    • Safety and health: Anodizing is a harmless technique that has no negative effects on health. Anodized finishes are non-toxic, chemically stable, won't break down, and can withstand heat up to the melting point of aluminum (1,221° F).
      • The anodizing process is non-hazardous and creates no toxic or dangerous byproducts because it is a naturally-existing oxide reaction.

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