Anodised aluminium is corrosive resistant, abrasion resistant aluminium that is insulated from electricity, adhesion or aesthetic enhancement. Not only is anodised aluminium more weather resistant and durable, the increased capacity to support a large variety of colour finishes means that this aluminium can be used in an extensive range of applications.
What are the benefits?
There are numerous product benefits as a result of the anodisation process, including:
- Durability – Anodised aluminium has an extremely long life span and requires significantly less maintenance;
- Colour Longevity – The anodic coating does not chip or peel and provides strong resistance to the impact of UV;
- Maintenance – Wear and tear from the fabrication and installation process or from cleaning is non-existent;
- Adaptability – The number of gloss and colour alternatives increases considerably with anodised aluminium as well as eliminating colour variations.
The Anodisation process
Using an electrochemical process, the natural oxidation process of aluminium can be controlled to produce a hard, transparent surface that is integral with base aluminium.
The first stage of the anodisation process involves the cleaning of the aluminium, which is then chemically treated, resulting in a satin matte appearance. Various degrees of etching can be specified (i.e. light, medium, heavy).
Once the surface is prepared, a hard and porous film called the anodic film is built from the aluminium itself. Electrical current is then passed through an electrolyte bath in which the aluminium has been immersed. This stage of the process can be tightly controlled to reflect the end use of the product.
After the second stage has been completed, the anodic film can be coloured. To create a broad spectrum of colours, organic dyes can be used to fill pores with colour, or alternatively metal salts can be electrochemically deposited at the base of the pores. The large majority of these colours will be fade-resistant.
Finally, the anodic film is sealed using a hot water bath that swells the pores shut.
Examples of end products using anodised aluminium
- Building exteriors and roofing systems
- Window frames, vents and awnings
- Display cases, tables, filing systems
- Boats, appliances, exterior panelling
- Interior decorations, jewellery
Such is the versatility of anodised aluminium; there are thousands of examples of its use. The functional and durability benefits make anodised aluminium a great product for builders, architects, product designers and fabricators.
Please contact us to discuss colour and finish for any custom anodising you require.