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…
AnodizingAnodizing 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.
Located in Woonsocket, RI, Sanford Process serves customers globally with aluminum coating and finishing services. We license our technology throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Sanford Process is a subsidiary of Katahdin Industries, Inc., which specializes in surface coatings and metal finishing application technologies and related services. Visit our website for more information!
Aluminum finishing specialist with over 50 years of personalized service in the anodizing industry & the largest commercial anodizing tanks in the country! A variety of capabilities for even your difficult jobs to meet & exceed all standards for clear & colored, protective & decorative, sulfuric, duranodic & chromic anodizing of parts large & small. Same-day estimates & 1 week or less turnaround.
At Tompkins Metal Finishing, we offer mid to high volume aluminum anodizing. We do pre-cleaning, etching, deoxidizng, dyeing and sealing. We can achieve a wide range of surface finishes from bright to dull matte in clear, black, gold, blue and red. Other methods are also available with consideration of alloy, coating thickness, masking requirements and racking instructions.
Since 1945, Light Metals Coloring has been one of the largest independent aluminum anodizing job shops. Light Metals Coloring provides hard coat anodizing, bulk anodizing, rack anodizing, clear anodizing, sulfuric acid anodizing, chromate conversion anodizing and color anodizing.
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.
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.
The Various Anodizing Processes
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.
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 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.
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.
With inorganic dyeing, the anodic film is a little duller than with organic dyeing, especially in gold tones, yet the metallic quality is retained.
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.
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.
Choosing the Proper Anodizing Company
To make sure you have the most constructive outcome when purchasing Anodizing from an Anodizing Company, it is important to compare at least 4 or 5 Companies using our Anodizing directory. Each Anodizing Supplier has a business profile page that highlights their areas of experience and capabilities and a contact form to directly communicate with the manufacturer for more information or request a quote. Review each Anodizing business website using our patented website previewer to get an idea of what each company specializes in, and then use our simple RFQ form to contact multiple Anodizing businesses with the same message.
Aluminum Anodizing Power Pages
Anodized aluminum is aluminum that has undergone an anodizing process to create an exceptionally durable, corrosion-resistant, and highly aesthetic surface. Anodizing creates a stable aluminum oxide layer fully integrated with...
Types of Metal Finishing
Metal finishing describes various procedures or processes that can be as simple as buffering to adding a special type of coat to the substrate. Included in the description of metal finishing are a number of cleaning...
Types of Metal Plating
Metal plating is a process where a thin layer of metal coating is applied on the surface, or on the substrate of a metal part, product, or component. The process of metal plating can consist of electroplating...
Extruded aluminum is a continuous piece of aluminum that usually has a constant profile or cross-section throughout its length. It is made by forcing a block of aluminum, called a billet, through a die opening which is smaller than the original cross-sectional area of the billet...
Types of Aluminum
Aluminum is the most abundant metal in Earth’s crust but rarely exists in elemental form. The various forms of aluminum and its alloys are valued for their low density and high strength-to-weight ratio, durability, and corrosion...
Aluminum Tubing & Piping
Aluminum piping and tubing is silvery-white, soft, and ductile. The metal belongs to the boron group. Aluminum is the third most abundant element present on earth. Aluminum has low density When exposed to corroding environments...