Aluminum is an example of an element that is capable of enduring the electrochemical conversion process which means the structure of the outer metal is permanently changed. The benefits of anodizing aluminum are plentiful—it improves the aesthetic quality, makes for ideal chemical properties, and is inexpensive.
When standard aluminum is exposed to air, a thick layer of aluminum oxide film forms to protect it from additional oxidation. When anodizing occurs, it creates a thicker exterior layer that protects the aluminum and makes it corrosion-resistant, easy to clean, and dye a variety of colors.
Here are some additional benefits of anodized aluminum.
When anodized aluminum is exposed to ultraviolet rays, it maintains impressive color stability in a way that other metals do not. This material does not have an applied coating that will chip or peel as a result of UV ray exposure. But still, there are only a few colors that will not be affected (fade) by UV rays. This is particularly important in the marine industry, RV, and outdoor products. The only color that is UV stable is a type of bronze.
Many anodized products are known for their long lifespan in addition to being low-maintenance and cost-effective. They will also not experience any wear and tear from handling, installation, or usage. Since this is a reacted finish that is directly integrated with the aluminum, it results in incredibly strong adhesion.
Standard aluminum is not as resistant to corrosion as anodized aluminum and neither of these materials is capable of rusting. However, these materials may corrode if they are exposed to moisture, salt, air, or another element or compound that facilitates corrosion. The difference is the thick outer layer of oxide on anodized aluminum reduces the chances of it corroding.
When it comes to offering adhesion for primers and other adhesives, anodized aluminum is better suited. This results from the oxide surface on anodized aluminum that is composed of deeper pores compared with standard aluminum. You can think of the pores as small holes where the adhesive can flow when it’s applied. The anodized aluminum will soak up the liquid, resulting in better adhesion.
Another benefit of anodized aluminum is its lubrication properties. As soon as the aluminum is anodized, it results in deeper pores within the metal. This allows for lubricating oil or film to seep into the pores and create better retention. The smooth surface of standard aluminum also makes it more challenging to retain oil or film in the same way that anodized aluminum can.
Functionality isn’t everything, as aesthetics are also important to consider. Anodized aluminum is offered in a growing number of color and gloss alternatives. The anodizing process also allows for the aluminum to retain its metallic appearance.
Quality of Finishing
In the case of anodizing aluminum, the parts that undergo this process are not subject to marking during the original anodizing process. The cleaner appearance is often preferred.
Cost is a driving factor for many when it comes to finishing methods. Compared to other finishing methods, anodizing provides good value for the price tag. Its impressive durability also reduces replacement costs, and anodized aluminum also has low maintenance and processing costs.
Better for the Environment and Your Overall Health
Health and safety are always the main consideration, and the anodizing process does not have any negative health implications. Anodized finishes are also non-toxic and heat-resistant up to aluminum’s melting point, which is 1,221 degrees Fahrenheit.
The benefits of anodized aluminum are expansive, and it’s clear why it is such a widely used material in many industries. Its impressive aesthetic look, ideal mechanical properties, and affordable price point make it a popular choice.