What you Need to Know About Aluminum Parts Anodizing
Aluminum parts are the all-time preferred auto components for auto spares, not just because they are very lightweight and attractive, but also because aluminum has many additional properties like its durability and its ease of installation. Under specific conditions, aluminum can be made very corrosion resistant. The fact that this metal can be cheaply obtained makes it the most economical option for the manufacturing industry. Aluminum parts anodizing is a process that makes aluminum the ultimate metal for a lot of interior and exterior building purposes and designs. Aluminum can also be molded into different shapes to form various aluminum parts. So, how is aluminum parts anodized?
How is Aluminum Anodized for your aluminum parts?
Before we look into aluminum parts anodizing, we should understand the exact meaning and purpose of anodizing. Generally, anodizing is a process through which a layer of metal oxide is electrolytically embedded onto the surface of the pure metal, in this case, Aluminum pars anodizing is like painting but when anodizing, the oxide layer is fully integrated into the underlying metal. Because of this, it can hardly chip or peel. Anodizing is the result of a highly controlled oxidation process that converts the surface of the metal into a corrosion-resistant, durable cover. The process of anodizing begins by immersing various aluminum parts into a series of solutions that all have specific purposes. Before the anodizing process, the aluminum parts are thoroughly cleaned by passing them through a water-based solution with mild acids, alkaline, or detergents. After the cleaning, they are passed through a pretreatment phase that utilizes caustic etch, this further enhances the metal’s brightness to give it a shiny finish. The anodizing process takes advantage of an aluminum substrate that is composed of aluminum oxide. Anodizing is effected by immersing the aluminum parts into an acid electrolyte bath which can either be sulphuric, phosphoric, or chromic acid. The aluminum is then connected as an anode to a complete circuit and a cathode is also introduced into the solution so that there is a complete flow of electrical current. During this flow, the acid-based electrolyte releases its oxygen ions which combine with the negative aluminum ions at the anode ( which is the surface of the aluminum metal) to form an invasive coating of a transparent but microscopically porous layer of aluminum oxide, thus anodizing. Anodizing is like enhancing a natural phenomenon while controlling the thickness of the oxide layer using the levels of the electric current and the exposure time of the metal to the process.
What is a barrier layer in aluminum parts anodizing?
When aluminum parts anodizing, a barrier layer is usually formed between the pure aluminum metal and the outer aluminum parts anodizing. A barrier layer is simply a film of highly pure aluminum oxide which is adjacent to the pure metal and the outer film that may be comprised of some impurities and incorporated anions. These films can be made for much thicker by hard anodizing.
What is hard anodizing?
Hard anodizing / Hard coating is the application of a highly resistant layer of pure aluminum oxide which further makes the aluminum surface as hard as steel. This made possible by the greater thickness and weight of the resulting layer. Nevertheless, it can only be carried out on an un-anodized aluminum surface. Hard anodizing makes a metal more resistant to corrosion and because of the enhanced insulation, it can not conduct any electricity or heat, for this reason, hard-coated aluminum parts are intended for use, and preferred for parts that endure extreme temperatures and highly corrosive applications.
Does aluminum need corrosion protection?
Though aluminum has many properties that make it suitable for various industrial applications, it is highly corrosive. Aluminum can be attacked by rust and other corrosive agents even when it is cast into concrete or fused with other metals, corrosion protection is, therefore, one of the best solutions to ensure its durability.
How can color be added to aluminum parts anodizing?
Anodized aluminum parts can be colored to produce a cleaner and finer finish. There are 4 ways by which this can be done, these include: – Using a dye. The freshly anodized aluminum can be immersed in a colored liquid solution with a concentrated dye, the oxide coating will absorb the dye permanently. The intensity of the color depends on the concentration of the dye, the temperature of the solution, and the time of immersion.
– Electrolytic coloring. This involves immersing the anodized aluminum parts into a bath containing some inorganic metals. A current is then supplied to the solution and the metal salts are deposited at the base of the pores. The resulting color will depend on the metal used.
– Integral coloring. Integral coloring involves simultaneous anodizing and coloring in a single step process. Various metals like bronze, tin, and cobalt can be used together with a dye to bring out the final effects. This also results in a more abrasive resistant finish.
– Inference coloring. Inference coloring involves the modification of the pore structures using metal deposition which produces light colors ranging from blue, green, yellow, and red. These are as a result of optical interference.
Can other metals also be anodized?
Even though other non-ferrous base metals like titanium and magnesium can be anodized, Aluminium is the most ideally suited metal for this process because it responds very effectively to produce the best results. Other metals like carbon steel can never be anodized because they will simply corrode when exposed to this process.
The perfect anodizing properties of aluminum and its clean-cut finishes are some of the characteristics that make aluminum the most preferred metal in the production of various automobile parts and spare parts. Additionally, anodizing aluminum is a very economical process which is meant to ensure its durability. This always makes aluminum parts anodizing the best solution for auto spares.
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