Basic Guide On How To Anodize Aluminum Parts
What Is Anodized Aluminum ?
Exposure of metals to certain environments such as air and humidity can form metal oxide layers on exposed surfaces. In most cases, the oxide layer is passive, which means that it no longer reacts with the environment like a pure metal. An example is rust, which forms when iron is left unprotected. Like iron and other metals, aluminum naturally forms a layer of oxides when it comes into contact with air or moisture. Unlike iron, however, the oxide layer formed is not flaky or overly porous, which acts as a barrier against further oxidation of the aluminum. In other words, aluminum forms its own thin-walled corrosion protection layer by corroding slightly. This is similar to how human skin tans to protect itself from further damage from sunlight or other UV rays. When you anodize aluminum, it goes through a process of thickening this natural protective oxide layer. Anodizing enhances the properties provided by the oxide layer, which are described individually in the following sections.
How Does the Anodizing Process Work ?
Unexpectedly, the anodizing process does not require a technician to apply the product to the aluminum surface. As mentioned earlier, the process takes the reactions that occur naturally when aluminum comes into contact with certain elements and kicks them up a notch. After the aluminum has undergone a forming process – such as extrusion – the resulting aluminum part is immersed in an electrolytic bath. When immersed in liquid, apply high current and low voltage current to the bath. An oxidative chemical reaction occurs when electric current passes through aluminum, forming an oxide layer that is thicker than the natural oxide layer.
Does Anodizing Increase Wear Resistance ?
Yes, anodizing improves wear resistance. The oxide layer formed on the surface of aluminum has ceramic properties, one of which is higher wear resistance than aluminum itself. Anodized aluminum is superior to untreated aluminum in its resistance to scuffing and scratching, providing a more durable finish. Like natural oxide passivation films, thick oxide layers obtained by anodizing processes also improve corrosion resistance. Passivation films are largely chemically inert and will not break down or corrode in the environment. As a result, the anodized layer protects the underlying aluminum from corrosion. Anodized aluminum has a thicker passivation layer than naturally passivated aluminum, which means it is more resistant to degradation and subsequent corrosion.
Have you ever seen an aluminum surface of anodized aluminum profile that can see its own reflection? Are your aluminum wheels starting to tarnish over time? Well, you have a 100% chance of polishing aluminum to a mirror finish that looks like new. Proper care and maintenance can extend the life and improve the appearance of all metals. It's good practice whether you use a metal like cast iron which needs to be seasoned regularly, or stainless steel to remove scratches and nicks which are often used. Any maintenance helps keep the metal from rusting and corroding, while maintaining its visual appeal.
Aluminum is a beautiful metal, but its surface may fade or discolor over time. Naturally, aluminum corrodes easily and when a skin of aluminum oxide forms to protect the metal, it looks dull. Even though aluminum is a rust-resistant metal, it is still prone to pre-rust if carbon-based abrasives have ever been used. Polishing it properly will allow you to keep it spotless and prevent it from tarnishing or showing signs of pre-rusting. There are certainly a variety of aluminum surfaces that can be coated here. Depending on the surface to be polished, different tools may be needed: hand-polished aluminum kitchen utensils, polished aluminum wheels, polished aluminum jumbo cans, and semi-finished products. Nevertheless, the general measures taken are the same. Here is a general guide on how to polish aluminum the right way.
Step 1 - Clean the Aluminum
How to clean your aluminum ?
Use a damp cloth or sponge and cleaning solution to clean the entire aluminum surface, making sure to remove all debris, grime, grime, dust, etc. In most cases, you can use regular dish soap or a mixture of water to clean aluminum and vinegar. It works great for small projects. If oil or grease builds up on the surface, a strong degreaser or paint thinner may be needed. If you have trouble removing stubborn dirt, you can use a screwdriver or a stainless steel wire brush to remove it. Do not use carbon steel as this will cause post-rusting. Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water, then dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.
Step 2 - Sand and Polish the Aluminum
How to sand aluminum ?
This is the step that some people love and most people hate, but the most important step is to get the best finish! For best results, you should spend most of your polishing process sanding the surface. As with most sanding jobs, you will need to start with a coarser sandpaper and gradually progress to a finer sandpaper. It doesn't require anything coarser than 320 grit, except for things like truck fuel tanks. However, if you have deep gouges and need to leave, you may need to downgrade. We do not recommend that your grit be less than 180 grit.
Depending on the severity of the project, you'll start with a minimum grade of 180 to 320 and work your way up until you sand the deepest scratches or nicks. Many professionals recommend going from 320 grit to 400 grit and finishing at 600 grit. Polishers who really pay attention to detail sometimes reach 800 or even 1500 grit before moving on to the next step. Smaller aluminum parts can certainly be done by hand with sandpaper and a little elbow grease, but as you get into larger projects you'll want to use an abrasive with a power tool. You don't want to rush through the process, but neither do you want to spend hours and all of your energy sanding by hand. Your best option to speed up the sanding process is to use an orbital sander with a PSA disc or an angle grinder with an aluminum abrasive disc.
Anodized Aluminum Window Frames Are An Excellent Choice For Many Homeowners
Although it has been suggested that anodized aluminum window frames suppliers should not be used when painting, it is important to note that anodized aluminum window frames are an excellent choice for many homeowners. Anodized is an excellent industrial finish to use on commercial and residential frames. Anodized is also much more cost effective than painting. When painting aluminum window frames it is very common for contractors to recommend anodized aluminum window frames suppliers for this purpose because anodized aluminum is so much cheaper than painting and lasts longer in high humidity areas. In many cases anodized aluminum window frames shouldn't be painted at all. If painting the frame at all it should only be applied with a primer coat. The anodized aluminum surface on commercial and residential window frames is an incredibly tough surface, which will typically last a very long time; especially if treated and maintained properly. Painting the aluminum is unnecessary because the aluminum is anodized; therefore, it won't rust or become misshapen.
Although anodized aluminum window frames suppliers claim their products are resistant to corrosion, they don't all offer the same type of resistance. Naturally anodized aluminum frames are made of aluminum oxide. These frames are extremely tough and able to resist corrosion from outdoor weather and even the sun. One of the benefits of anodized aluminum frames is that they will not affect the color of the frames. Although some frames are painted in order to prevent cracking, anodized frames are often coated with an anti-corrosion coating. Because of this coating they will last an additional fifteen years or so before requiring additional painting. Another benefit of anodized aluminum window frames is that they are virtually maintenance free. If you are not using the frame on a regular basis, anodized frames can still be kept clean by simply wiping them down with a mild detergent each time you enter your home. Anodized coating will also help prevent scratches, mildew, corrosion, and other damage to the frame itself.
It is easy to find anodized aluminum window frames on the internet. One of the easiest ways to purchase anodized aluminum window frames is to find a supplier online that offers it. Anodized frames are extremely easy to install because the coating is applied with a paint pen. The installation process takes just a few short minutes and will make your home look as amazing as the day you bought it. Anodized frames are so easy to care for, there really is no reason not to have anodized frames in your home. The only downside to anodized aluminum window frames is that they do have a slightly higher price than other types of frames. While anodized frames are definitely more expensive than an aluminum frame, anodized frames are more long lasting and are more difficult to break than their aluminum counterparts.
That being said, anodized aluminum window frames are perfect for those who wish to create an aesthetic difference in their home. Anodized frames look absolutely stunning in any home and are sure to enhance the appeal of any home. Anodizing provides an almost limitless array of artistic design options. Whether you choose anodized aluminum window frames in anodized aluminum or one of several different anodized colors, anodizing will add an extra layer of elegance to your home.
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