Guide to the Process of Anodizing Aluminum Parts
Aluminum anodizing is a metal finishing process we perform at Creatingway, which entails electrochemically adding an oxide layer onto the metal surface. The coatings that are of a thickness ranging from 1.8 µm to 25µm are type II, while coatings thicker than 25 µm are Type III. The process is essentially resistant to corrosion, which allows dyeing in a different range of color that further increases the surface hardness. The anodic layer also improves lubrication and enhances its visual appeal.
We undertake this process because it is an extremely durable post-processing technique that not only enhances its properties but also enables better adhesion for glues and paint parameters. The appealing aesthetic effect is due to thick coatings that absorb dies and transparent coatings that reflect light. Despite impacting on metal parts’ mechanical capabilities, it does not take away its natural appearance. Though there is lots of metal materials like aluminum, titian, steel and more. But the aluminum is the ideal candidate. Below is everything you need to know about anodizing aluminum.
How does the process work?
At Creatingway, we properly anodize aluminum parts by first cleaning and rinsing the surface before dipping them into a bath of the electrolytic solution. The solution is primarily either sulfuric or chromic acid. It provides an electrically appropriate coating which contains many positive and negative ions.
The process essentially works through a positive electric charge passing through the aluminum while a negative charge passes through plates in the electrolyte. The electric current forces positive ions to attract the negatively charged plate while at the same time, negative ions attach to the aluminum part, which is the positive anode.
After this, the electrochemical reaction forces open pores on the surface of the aluminum. This allows for the positive ions to escape. These pores dig down into the substrate of the part in a uniformly geometric pattern. The combination of the aluminum surface and negatively charged ions creates a barrier. We refer to the barrier in the anodizing aluminum process as the surface layer that contributes to the part’s resistance to corrosion.
Below are main aluminum parts anodizing process
There are currently four different versions of the aluminum anodizing process. Each has its distinct appeal and advantage over the other.
Anodizing Type I
We consider it as the most basic type. We use chromic acid to produce a thin and ductile anodizing layer on an aluminum part.
Anodizing Type II
The process utilizes sulfuric acid instead of chromic acid, which achieves a thicker anodizing layer on a part. This makes it more suitable for coloration. It is also known as “hard anodizing”.
Anodizing Type III
It is similar type II where we use sulfuric acid, but it produces a thicker anodized layer that is excellent for applying color. It is also known as “hard anodizing” too.
Chemical Film / Alodine
This method involves coating parts with Alodine, which has an outcome that is different completely to anodization.
The anodization of aluminum parts presents with a variety of options when it comes to the addition of color pigments. The coloration process involves injecting pigments into empty pores of the part. Once the pigment reaches the surface, we seal it off to properly preserve the color. This produces a visual effect that is difficult to fade away and does not scratch off. This keeps the appearance of the parts in prime condition.
What’s the advantages of anodizing aluminum parts?
You may not realize it, but you are likely to have come into contact with anodization products daily. There are many benefits that you can leverage by anodizing aluminum parts, both mechanically and visually. For instance, the aluminum parts are astoundingly sturdy and durable. The parts additionally have thermal insulation. By improving its resistance to corrosion and abrasion, the parts are ideal for use in harsh environments.
The aluminum anodizing aluminum process helps parts last for a longer duration than raw parts. The coating provides a much thinner layer than paints and powder coating while still providing a much harder surface.
Additionally, anodizing of aluminum offers an environmentally- friendly alternative finishing process. This makes it easily recyclable. Most importantly, it is an affordable technique that reduces the overall cost to our clients.
What’s the applications for aluminum parts?
We normally use the anodization process on a wide range of commodities, namely:
- Aircrafts and aerospace products
- Sporting Equipment
- Consumer goods
What we need to consider?
Despite the advantages of anodization outweighing its disadvantages, but careful consideration has to be taken, especially on application and environment. Some noted conclude:
- Excessive exposure to ultraviolet light can cause dyes to fade over time.
- Touch-ups are almost impossible to miss on components that have undergone anodization.
- Its color selection is less in comparison to painting
- Faulty sealing exposes anodized parts to corrosion
- Temperature that is over 176 Fahrenheit can crack anodized aluminum
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