Secoa Metal Finishing

What Is Aluminum Anodizing?

What Is Aluminum Anodizing?

Consumers want their products to last as long as possible. Manufacturers and fabricators work together to ensure this by selecting appropriate metals. Where the environmental factors may be particularly harsh on the product and all its components, companies elect to protect further the material through one of many possible methods. One possible process is anodizing. At Secoa Technology, our experienced professionals not only understand completely what is aluminum anodizing, but they also are fully aware of the variations in the process.

Anodizing is a process utilizing an acid solution to convert the surface of the metal into corrosion and wear resistant anodic oxide finish. The result of this electrochemical treatment is both durable and attractive. Among the many metals that can undergo anodizing – including magnesium and titanium, aluminum is among the most ideally appropriate, and it is the one that Secoa Technology has chosen to focus its process on. Secoa Technology does not offer anodizing on metals other than aluminum.

At Secoa Technology, a typical anodizing process follows the following steps:

  • Pre-treatment – includes
    • Clean to remove any oils or contaminants followed by a rinsing
    • Etch – satin, matte finish or bright rinse
  • Treatment involves anodization coating between0.1 to 1.0 mil thick. The direct current passes through the aluminum component which sits submerged in a bath consisting of water and one of the following acids
    • Sulfuric
    • Chromic
    • Phosphoric
    • Rinse

After anodizing, the aluminum component may undergo further processes including dying or coloring. Sealing of the part then occurs to enhance and ensure the desirable characteristics of the finished product remain intact.

Aluminum anodizing is a process that not only produces improved corrosion resistance; it also results in an enhanced appearance, better adhesive bonding, better-quality paint adhesion and superior capacitance for electronic applications. At Secoa Technology, our staff will work with you to choose the most appropriate method of anodizing to match your specifications and industry.

The Aluminum Anodizing Process

The corrosion resistance of aluminum is increased through a process called aluminum anodizing in which a layer of oxide is formed on the alloy’s surface. At Secoa Technology, we offer expertise in this process.

Anodizing Process Explained

The most popular method of enhancing the surface of aluminum is aluminum anodizing process. First the metal is placed into an electrolytic solution bath with a cathode. After current is applied to the solution, hydrogen comes forth from the cathode which results in oxygen being formed upon the surface of the anodic part. Subsequently, a metal oxide film grows on the treated part.

The type of anodizing process and the application involved can determine how thick of an oxide layer is grown on the aluminum part. Potentially, it can be as much as 100 times as thick as an oxide layer that would naturally develop on aluminum only exposed to oxygen.

Aluminum anodized parts have greater wear and corrosion resistance than parts that are not treated. In addition, they provide protection against the wear that results from the friction of two parts rubbing together, i.e. with threaded compliments – something which is referred to as galling.

Anodized parts, in general, have longer operating life spans than their non-anodized counterparts.

Anodized Aluminum

The process of anodizing aluminum enables better adhesion of glues and paints to the surface of the aluminum. The pores that exist in the protective oxide layer provide this improved surface adhesion capability.

Most commonly the process of anodizing is applied to aluminum and aluminum alloys. However, other metals such as sink, hafnium, titanium, and magnesium can also be protected by the anodizing process.

Various methods of anodizing are referred to and categorized by the electrolytic solution used in the process. For instance, at the inception of the use of this anodizing process chromic acid was the solution used in commercial facilities. However, today most commonly sulfuric acid is used as the electrolytic solution for anodizing.

You can count on our experienced team Secoa Technology to handle all of your aluminum anodizing requirements. To learn more, call us at (706) 272-0133.