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Anodizing

Anodizing is an electrochemical process that enhances metals' corrosion resistance, durability, and appearance, particularly aluminum.

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Anodizing parts(1)

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Anodizing offers a wide range of color options that remain stable over time, enhancing the material's aesthetic appeal.

DEK’s anodizing services improve adhesion for coatings and provide electrical insulation. Forming a protective layer on the metal's surface makes it highly resistant to corrosion and wear. The hardness of the material is increased, making it durable and scratch-resistant. It is environmentally friendly, producing minimal waste, and the resulting surfaces are easy to clean and maintain. Additionally, anodized materials can withstand high temperatures without degradation.

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TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW

More About Anodizing

What’s Anodizing?

Anodizing is a process that enhances the surface of metals, typically aluminum, by creating a durable, corrosion-resistant finish. The metal is first cleaned and prepared before being immersed in an electrolyte bath, where an electric current is applied. This causes the formation of an oxide layer on the metal surface, improving its hardness and corrosion resistance. In some cases, dyes can be added to create colored finishes for decorative purposes. The final step involves sealing the anodized layer to enhance its longevity and protective qualities.

Advantages of Anodizing

  • Corrosion resistance
  • Improved durability
  • Enhanced wear resistance
  • Increased hardness
  • Better adhesion for paint and glue
  • Improved aesthetics
  • Non-conductive surface
  • Environmentally friendly process
  • Greater heat resistance
  • Long-lasting finish

Design Considerations for Anodizing

  • Choose a metal suitable for anodizing, like aluminum.
  • Pick an aluminum alloy that works well with anodizing.
  • Start with a smooth surface to avoid highlighting imperfections.
  • Design parts with even thickness to prevent uneven coatings.
  • Consider the anodized layer thickness in your design for accuracy.
  • Plan for masking to protect certain areas, and consider racking for even coating.
  • If color matters, choose dyes carefully and discuss consistency with your provider.
  • Understand and choose a sealing process that matches your needs.
  • Select anodizing thickness and sealing based on the intended environment.
  • Implement checks for coating thickness, color, and other specifications.

FAQ

Anodizing FAQs

While many metals can be anodized, common ones include aluminum and its alloys. Metals such as iron and steel generally cannot be anodized because the process relies on forming a stable oxide layer, which these metals do not readily develop.
Anodized aluminum finds widespread use in everyday items such as cookware, automotive parts like rims and trim, electronic devices including smartphones and laptops, sporting goods like bicycle frames and golf clubs, architectural elements such as window frames and handrails, and aerospace components.
Anodized metal often has a distinctive, durable finish that can be identified by color. Colors can vary depending on the alloy and the anodizing process used. Additionally, anodized surfaces feel harder and smoother compared to untreated metal. If you scratch the surface, the color will remain consistent as the color is integrated into the oxide layer.
The longevity of anodized finishes depends on factors such as the type of alloy, the anodizing process used, and the environmental conditions. Anodized coatings are durable and can last for many years. With proper care and maintenance, they can maintain their appearance and functionality for a long time.
Yes, anodizing helps prevent rust on metals. The anodizing process creates a protective oxide layer on the surface of the metal, which acts as a barrier against corrosion. This makes anodized aluminum more resistant to rust and other forms of oxidation. However, it's essential to note that anodized coatings can be compromised if they are scratched deeply or damaged.

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