An electrochemical procedure called anodizing transforms a metal’s surface into an attractive, long-lasting oxide finish. Although other metals, including magnesium and titanium, can also be anodized, aluminum is best suited for the process.
What is Aluminum Anodizing, and How is it Anodized?
Anodizing aluminum: It is an electrolytic process that creates a durable, corrosion-resistant surface on the metal. The process involves immersing the aluminum in an acidic solution and passing an electric current through it. This causes a thin layer of oxide to form on the surface of the metal. The oxide layer can be dyed to create a range of colors or be left clear. Anodized aluminum is often used in architecture and for decorative purposes.
How Aluminum is Anodized: Aluminum is cleaned, rinsed, and then submerged in an electrolytic solution, such as sulfuric acid, to prepare it for anodizing. An electrolyte is a solution that is electrically conductive and has a lot of positive and negative ions that it wishes to exchange with other ions.
Aluminum is given a positive electric charge to make it the anode and plates suspended in the electrolyte are given a negative charge. Positive ions are drawn to the negative plates in this circuit by the electric current, whereas negative ions are drawn to the aluminum anode, which is positively charged.
The electrolytic process creates a protective oxide coating on the metal. This coating is durable and corrosion-resistant, making it an ideal finish for various applications. Anodizing also gives aluminum a unique, esthetic finish that can be customized with multiple colors and patterns. The process makes it a better choice for various applications. Anodizing also allows for a wide range of color options, as the oxide layer can be dyed to achieve the desired effect.
Before anodizing the aluminum, the aluminum should undergo fabrication to get the right shape. A fabrication process for aluminum is any technique used to mold the metal into the desired shape. These methods can incorporate a broad range of physical and chemical processes that provide aluminum with various physical properties.
Fabrication: Fabrication shops specialize in producing metal products, known as fabrications. Fabrications can be produced using many processes, such as welding, cutting, forming, and machining. Fabrication shops may also use automated devices such as CNC machines. Fabricators typically submit bids for a task based on engineering designs and construct the product using many different types of value-added procedures if accepted.
Aluminum Fabrication: The process of forming aluminum into a finished good, whether a component for a solar panel or an outside enclosure, is known as aluminum fabrication. The procedures used to fabricate aluminum include welding, stamping, bending, extruding, and shearing.
Black Anodizing Aluminum and How are the Colors Added?
Black Anodizing Aluminum: The process of dyeing an Aluminum’s surface black is called black anodizing Aluminum. The oxidized metal surface of the aluminum can be colored during the anodizing process even before the sealing stage.
How the color is added: Most people envision colored aluminum when they think about anodizing. This method’s true brilliance lies in its ability to create dyes or pigments within the pores etched into the surface, which is suitable for various applications.
The open pores are filled with pigment until they reach the surface, permanently shut. The color of the anodized coating is embedded deep inside, so it cannot be removed by scratching; instead, the substrate must be ground away in order to remove the anodized coating altogether.
Benefits of Black Anodizing Aluminum
- Scratch Proof: Metal is entirely shielded from scratches, although usually, the thicker the anodize, the better protected the metal will be.
- Environment Friendly: Black anodizing does not use hazardous metals or harmful waste. Furthermore, it complies with environmental and safety standards established by the FDA and RoHS.
- Avoids Rusting: Anodized metals are more likely to rust than non-anodized metals. Anodising changes the outer surface of a metal, making it more challenging. For example, aluminum doesn’t rust because its oxide layer is very thick and protects it from corrosion. However, salt and acid rain can erode this oxide layer, exposing aluminum to corrosive elements that can cause it to rust. Although steel is renowned for being highly resistant to corrosion, if the temperature reaches a critical point, such as when it’s being used in an industrial furnace or during an accident like a train derailment where sparks ignite any flammable fuel spilled on the tracks, then steel will begin to rust immediately.