Aluminium Anodising Process and Benefits
Everything You need to Know about Anodising
Anodising is a process that is used to convert a metallic surface into corrosion-resistant, durable, decorative, and anodic oxide finish. Aluminium alloy is the most suitable material for anodising. However, other metals such as titanium alloys and magnesium can be anodised.
The anodic oxide that is used in the process is retrieved from the aluminium substrate and only contains aluminium oxide. However, this oxide cannot be applied on surfaces like plating or painting; but is resistant to chipping since an aluminium substrate underlines it. Another feature of the substance is porosity. This particular feature allows it to be used for secondary processes such as sealing and colouring.
Why is Anodising Important?
Due to the facts mentioned above, it is accurate to mention that anodising process that can be employed to protect the surface of the metal from possible damages caused by abrasion. By anodising aluminium alloys, a protective coating of aluminium oxide is added, and it is resistant to rusts and other causes of wear and tear. Aluminium oxide is a durable, corrosion-resistant material. The electrochemical process also lets you colour the surface with dyes without the possibility of peeling and flaking.
Now let us go into the nitty-gritty of the benefits of anodising.
The core benefit of anodising aluminium alloys is that it improves its durability and wear resistance. Though it won’t provide everlasting protection against weathering, you will not have to incur the exaggerated maintenance cost. However, you will notice that anodised surfaces tend to pick up dirt and stains quite easily, but they are easy to clean using a piece of cloth or wool. Better still, you can do it using a mild detergent, and the surface will look as good as new.
Anodised surfaces can last up to 20 years before showing any sign of wear and tear. This is far much better than organic paints that peel off as soon as they get into contact with sharp and scratchy substances. Since anodised surfaces are far much harder than powder-coated surfaces, they are the best for areas with high traffic or even heavy equipment use where contacts are likely to happen. The surface will not easily take damages from contact, even when it is exposed to harsh chemicals.
Thankfully, the surface cannot be affected by the UV light, which is a common destroyer of many surfaces.
Key Advantages of Anodising Aluminium Alloys
– Corrosion resistance
– Natural metallic anodised finish
– No risk of adhesion failure of the anodic film
– No risk of surface finish fading
– No risk of chalking
– No risk of filiform corrosion
– Preservation of the original surface finish texture and design
– Optimal surface coverage
– Anodic film is totally impermeable
– Exceptional abrasion resistance
– Anodised Aluminium components are 100% recyclable
Are there Good and Bad Applications?
Yes, just like with any other product and application, there are wrong ways to anodise aluminium, and you should learn to avoid them at all cost. The main factors that must be considered in the process are the micron thickness and quality of the anodic element. Also, it is important to know that thinner coatings tend to provide minimum protection against destructive elements.
That said, the bottom line is that the higher the quality and the thicker the anodic material is, the better the protection it can provide against various damages. Aluminium products tend to be more susceptible to wear and tear, and the best way to ensure maximum protection is through the provision of high quality, thick anodic process.
What are the Downsides of Anodising?
While there are tremendous benefits linked with anodising, it still does not offer enough resistance to chemical damages. When exposed to corrosive substances for a long time, the surface of anodised material starts to break down. And when this starts to happen, you can lose the entire product.
This problem is mainly encountered in urban areas where there is a lot of chemical emission going on from active industrial activities. Most building materials in the urban centres tend to break down after long exposure of acidic chemicals.
Can Stainless Steel be Anodised?
Yes, though it does not have the kind of use that aluminium has, we can anodise stainless steel into different colours such as brown, black, white. However, compared to other substances such as titanium, stainless steel colours are not quite durable enough. This means that even when you manage to anodise stainless steel, you might not protect the surface long enough since it will peel and wear off faster compared to aluminium and titanium. If you want to make it more durable, there are special protective coatings that you might have to add to the mix. But that is a lengthy process which is unnecessary altogether.
If you are not sure whether you need soft anodising or hard anodising your aluminium, then you might want to contact an expert. It is essential that you protect the surface of your materials using the processes that guarantee longer effectiveness.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.