⋅ Anodizing is an electrochemical process that transforms the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide coating. Aluminum is
most ideal for anodizing, although other non-ferrous metals such as magnesium and titanium can also be anodized.
⋅ The anodic oxide structure originates from the aluminum substrate and consists entirely of aluminum oxide. This aluminum oxide is not applied to the surface
like paint or coating, but is fully integrated with the underlying aluminum substrate, so it will not crack or peel. It has a highly ordered, porous structure that allows
for secondary operations such as painting and scraping.
⋅ Anodizing is accomplished by immersing aluminum in an acid electrolyte bath and passing an electric current through the pool. A cathode is mounted inside
the anodizing tank; aluminum acts as an anode, so oxygen ions are released from the electrolyte to combine with aluminum atoms on the surface of the part
being anodized. Anodizing is therefore a matter of highly controlled oxidation.
⋅ Anodizing coatings have made aluminum one of the most respected and widely used materials in the manufacture of thousands of consumer, commercial
and industrial products today.
Benefits of Anodizing
The unique anodizing process is the only coating method in the metal industry that meets each of the factors to consider when choosing a high performance aluminum coating application.
Durability: Most anodized products have an extremely long life and offer significant economic advantages through maintenance and operational savings. Anodizing is a type of coating that is integrated into the aluminum surface.
Color Stability: The outer anodic coatings provide good stability against ultraviolet rays, do not chip or peel, and are easily reproducible.
Ease of maintenance: Cosmetic defects from production, transportation, installation, frequent surface cleaning and use are almost non-existent. Rinsing or cleaning with mild soap and water often restores an anodized surface to its original appearance. Mild abrasive cleansers can be used for larger cosmetic imperfections.
Aesthetic: Anodizing offers high brightness and color alternatives and minimizes or eliminates color changes. Unlike other finishes, anodizing allows the aluminum to retain its metallic appearance.
Cost: A lower initial finishing cost combines with lower maintenance costs for greater long-term value.
Health and safety: Anodizing is a safe process that does not harm human health. Anodized coating is chemically stable, does not deteriorate; non-toxic; and is heat resistant to aluminum's melting point (1,221°F).
Because the anodizing process is a supplement to a naturally occurring oxide process, it is not hazardous and does not produce harmful or dangerous byproducts.