Aluminum is one of the strongest metals in existence. It is used in a wide range of applications. However, in most cases, anodized aluminum is applied in place of bare aluminum. ddprototype is one of the companies offering anodizing aluminum services. However, before you even consider hiring a company for the process, there are things you need to know about anodizing aluminum.
Essential things you should know about anodizing aluminum
Below are some essential things you need to know about aluminum anodizing;
What is anodizing?
Anodizing is a process used for changing the surface chemistry of metals and various types of substrates. The main point of anodizing is to protect the metal or substrate surface from issues like corrosion. Anodizing also helps enhance the aesthetic qualities of the metal. Using the right kind of anodizing material can also help the metal to resist scratching.
How do you need to prepare for aluminum anodizing?
Before you begin the process of anodizing, you first have to prepare the metal. You do this by cleaning the surface of the metal thoroughly. You can use an alkaline solution for this task. After cleaning it thoroughly, you also have to rinse it off properly. The preparation process does not end here. The top layer of the aluminum also has to be eliminated using chemical etching.
Also, once you have cleaned and rinsed it, you have to place it inside a bath of an electrolytic solution. Sulfuric acid is one of the most popularly used electrolytic solutions for this task.
What is the role of the electrolytic solution in anodizing?
The electrolytic solution is used to trigger an electrochemical reaction on the surface of the metal. The solution features a lot of positive and negative ions. The positive charge converts the aluminum into an anode.
On the other hand, the negative charge is attracted to the positive. The electrochemical reaction triggered results in the formation of pores on the aluminum surface. The pores are a result of the escaping of the excess positive ions.
The pores are typically formed in a geometrically regular pattern. As the reaction continues, the pores start to erode into the substrate, allowing the surface to combine with the negatively charged oxygen ions. This process results in the formation of aluminum oxide. The process through which this layer is formed is called passivization.
What is the role of aluminum oxide?
The aluminum oxide created on the surface of the metal is referred to as the barrier layer. This layer acts as a defense for the metal against further reactions with oxygen and other chemicals. This is the reason why anodized aluminum is resistant to issues like corrosion and rust.
Are there further treatments after aluminum is anodized?
After the anodizing process, the metal has to go through post-treatments or procedures. An example of such treatments is coloring. Most of these post-treatments roles are to give the metal some desirable properties to improve its aesthetic appeal.
Various industries carry out the anodizing process on aluminum and other metals. The anodized aluminum can be applied in a wide range of industries and products. For instance, it can be used for construction. Anodized aluminum is more durable than bare aluminum because of the improved resistance to damaging elements like corrosion.